Commentary

Fox Trims Trump Rally Air Time: How Long Will Reruns Deliver Ratings?

Let's say a top reality show is showing ratings erosion. The solution? Cut back on the number of episodes, or just trim to some highlights. (Maybe even cut the performer’s salary?)

Seems Fox News Channel isn’t running end-to-end, complete President Trump political rallies anymore. The ones where he bashes Democrats, calls people “crooks," delivers hyped-up misinformation, then tells viewers and attendees why their financial situation -- via the economy -- is so much better.

(Hey, that $1,000 in tax savings goes a long way! A year’s worth of Starbucks, maybe.)

Trump knows cable TV time means earned media time. But Fox seems to be cutting back on total Trump time, just running clips and highlights of his rallies.

White House officials, according to Politico, are concerned that it will mean negative results for Republican candidates in the midterms.

Overall, Fox News Channel continues to post best overall cable network results. That has been the case for a while -- even before Trump became president.

Still, is Fox News seeing key prime-time “programming” that is trending down? One answer may be to think like an entertainment programming network.

Imagine the rallies -- whatever one thinks of them -- as reliving the same old lines, mistruths, outlandish statements and somewhat smiling pro-Trump voters in the background.

In TV land, it's called a rerun. We know the story arc, who the bad guys are, and the expected punchlines.

That said, is this just a breather -- especially close to key elections or in a couple of years when Trump ramps up his own re-election campaign? He will need more political "villains" to assign crass monikers, and/or mysterious conspiracy story lines. 

TV viewers love a good conspiracy tale. Of course, the writing and performance needs to be good. If not, the showrunner or studio will lots of notes and demand a good rewrite.

For many TV executives, it's all about a program’s gross ratings points. For Fox News Channel, in the short-term, those ratings points may be getting more or less gross -- depending on your point of view.

2 comments about "Fox Trims Trump Rally Air Time: How Long Will Reruns Deliver Ratings?".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, October 15, 2018 at 11:27 a.m.

    Anyone who does not want their $1000 tax break, send it to me.  I have two kids in college.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, October 15, 2018 at 3:08 p.m.

    Pennywise, dollar foolish.

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