Fox's 'Loyal Opposition' Is Just Loyalty To A Good TV Marketing Scheme

Auditioning a new TV news network marketing line can always be a tough call.

Perhaps that wouldn’t include: We are the news network of the “loyal opposition” -- at least since Election Day, November 3.

At an industry conference, Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch cast a reference Fox News Channel as the “loyal opposition” -- just, as he claimed, MSNBC had been for the past four years. (MSNBC may disagree, preferring to view its charge as reporting the news.)

What if he had merely said: "Fox News will continue to be loyal to the truth?”

Or would he have been better off saying: "Opinions presented here are for the strict intent of driving ratings and pulling in as much money from TV advertisers as humanly possible.” (Font-size consideration could be an issue here.)

Advertisers generally don’t care about marketing themes. But they do care when some content is so egregious they need to bail. (Even then, they almost always move ad inventory to other safer shows on the network.)



How about a less combative “Question authority” -- or “We speak truth to power. All kinds of power, those already in power, and those who want to be.”

Yes, there is lots of opinion content. Years ago, while working for Ad Age, I spoke with then Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly at an industry event. I suggested the network’s marketing theme wasn’t exactly realistic. It was “We report. You decide.” I suggested a more accurate “We report. We decide.”

He calmly suggested this wasn’t the case overall -- especially for Fox News Channel's mostly straight-ahead news gathering during daytime hours. I agreed -- in part.

For many TV marketers, it’s all content -- in the abstract. In this case, news and opinion. Truth? Facts? Whether we like it or not, that, increasingly, has become a separate issue.

Going forward, one would assume Murdoch wants an an even louder echo chamber for “loyal” to engage listeners. Headphones not needed.

1 comment about "Fox's 'Loyal Opposition' Is Just Loyalty To A Good TV Marketing Scheme".
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  1. David Scardino from TV & Film Content Development, March 10, 2021 at 2:12 p.m.

    So I guess "fair and balanced" has been consigned to the historical trash bin...?

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