Fox News Media wants you to know that 40% of its overall viewing comes from non-news content -- and that could be a good thing for advertisers looking to get audiences they don't normally get.
That's because some of that “hard news” -- according to Jeff Collins, executive vice president of advertising sales for Fox News Media -- may not be to everyone's liking in a media campaign.
Does this have anything to do with the most recent major headlines with regard to the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox Corp?
Not exactly -- this is not new. Historically, Fox News has had issues -- even before this case.
But just to be clear, some of this isn’t really about “hard news” -- maybe more "hard opinion.”
A public legal filing about the case says Fox News Channel hosts wrote texts and emails in which they expressed concerns about losing audiences they had so carefully built up over the years if they did not glom on to fringe news channel competitors' content based on speculative news stories containing little or no facts.
Apparently, staying the course has not resulted in any declines. Fox News Channel, for example, continues to reign atop the cable TV network viewership rankings.
In tandem with this, the current stable of advertisers -- especially around its prime-time opinion shows -- have not departed. Still, much of the prime-time/opinion programming doesn’t have what analysts would say are major, top-flight TV brand brand advertisers -- My Pillow, Balance of Nature, for example. Not that it really matters.
Fox News Channel pulled in $1.12 billion in national TV advertising revenue over the last 12 months, according to iSpot.tv.
All of this seems to suggest that even with the touting of non-news/opinion programming, for those nervous marketers, all the headlines on the Dominion Voting Systems case have meant little to Fox News' bottom line -- so far, anyway.
Some still believe the off-the-air, more honest-sounding knowledge of what is really going on -- that there was no widespread voter manipulation of the Presidential election in 2020 -- could mean some specific legal problems for Fox Corp.
Will the company settle? Analysts now believe that. But perhaps there is more -- that any settlement might also include an admission of some guilt on air.
So far only Howard Kurtz, Fox News Channel’s anchor/media analyst, referenced the case in the briefest possible way, saying that Fox executives would not allow him not to talk about it, although he wanted to. Most recently, however, he did say the case was a “major test” of the First Amendment.
What is the end of this story? Fox would like brand advertisers to consider other storylines when it comes to still-important linear TV and streaming viewership. They have First Amendment rights too, I’m told.
What, exactly do they mean by "non-news", Wayne? Are they referring to their prime time "opinion" or "commentary" shows? or something else. If it's the latter---neither " hard news" nor "opinion/commentary"---I find that 40% estimate rather hard to justify. Is it weekend fare? As for capturing a new kind of viewer---young?, sophisticated?, affluent?---that, too, seems very unlikely.