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Fox News ad revenues down overall, but still most expensive spots in cable news

Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity have the most expensive ad spots.
tucker carlson, fox news, cable news
Tucker Carlson has the most expensive ad slots in cable news. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

President Donald Trump might be happy with Fox News coverage, but its advertisers aren’t paying as much.

Ad revenues fell 17 percent in September for Fox News compared to the same month last year, according to the most recent financial data for the network, Ad Week reported.

The drop in advertising appears to be a singularly Fox News problem — the financial info shows that Fox News took the biggest hit of any cable news operation. CNN, Trump’s favorite “fake news” network lost just 1 percent in ad revenue, and MSNBC, the liberal counterpoint to Fox News, was up 2 percent.

Despite the dip in ad revenues overall, Fox News still commands some the highest ad spots in cable news.

Tucker Carlson Tonight commands the most expensive ad slots in all of cable news, with a price tag of $12,200 a spot. Sean Hannity’s show is second with ad spots bringing in $8,500 each in September.

Last September those same spots were earning around $31,300 per spot due to increased viewership around the election, which likely contributed to the steep drop in ad revenues.

Fox News also lost several advertisers off of Hannity’s program earlier this year after he continued to push a debunked conspiracy theory about murdered Democrated National Committee worker Seth Rich who was killed in a robbery in Washington last year. Police never brought a suspect to justice.

Fox News issued a redaction of a story pressing a theory that Rich’s murder was connected to WikiLeaks, but Hannity continued to discuss the possibility on his primetime show. Media Matters, a left-leaning media watchdog company published a list of Hannity’s advertisers and urged supporters to call the companies and complain. The initiative worked, at least in a few cases.

By contrast, MSNBC’s primetime hosts saw modest gains, but the ad spots are considerably cheaper than on Fox News. The Rachel Maddow Show had an average unit cost of $4,600 in September 2017 versus $3,800 last September. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was at $3,700 this September, up from $3,100 last year. All in with Chris Hayes increased from $2,700 to $3,300, Ad Week reported.

Overall cable news revenue fell 7 percent in September over 2016, but looking at the quarter as a whole, ad revenues are up 2 percent, according to the Standard Media Index, which tracks ad revenue for media companies.

 

 
 
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