As if Writers Guild picket lines outside network upfront events in New York City this week were not bad enough, the ad crowd were also reminded that they might have to step over another kind of line to buy Fox News Channel, as trucks circling the city Monday made the case that allocating their ad budgets on the network would help fuel its lies.
The trucks were part of a series of efforts by advocacy group Media Matters For America and MoveOn urging major advertisers to defund Fox News during the upfront buying season, including those attending Fox's upfront presentation at The Manhattan Center.
Whether advertisers and media buyers on the inside of the event were bellying up to a giant horseshoe-shaped bar as Fox's entertainment, sports and news execs and talented plied them with drinks and pitches, Fox News Media Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales Jeff Collins was doing his best to emphasize the less-than-controversial parts of the news channel's programming, noting: "Over the last two years, we’ve successfully launched over 20 new programs across Fox News Media, covering not only hard news, but also lifestyle content, which now comprises over 40% of our overall audience reach."
Which isn't exactly the message Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch delivered to investors during its recent quarterly earnings call.
“With regards to our programming strategy in prime-time, there’s no change to our programming strategy at Fox News,” he double downed, adding: “It’s obviously a successful strategy. And as always, you know, we are adjusting our programming and our lineup and that’s what we continue to do.”
I guess it comes down to how you define lifestyle programming, and whose lifestyle you are programming for?