While it’s to be expected that cable news advertising revenue would drop somewhat in the year after the 2016 presidential election, only Fox News’ revenue has taken a deep plunge.
According to TVNewser (via the Standard Media Index), CNN’s revenue is down 1% while MSNBC’s is up by 2% in a September 2016 to September 2017 comparison. But Fox News has taken a “significant hit” of a loss of 17% in September 2017 as compared to that month last year.
Media Matters notes that while “modest fluctuations” are normal and expected, Fox’s steep decline is neither.
The relative disproportion of Fox’s 17 percent loss means that it can’t be attributed merely to normal market fluctuations. If the market as a whole was the primary cause, then you’d see larger changes at CNN and MSNBC too. Accordingly, this massive loss indicates that there are other factors unique to Fox that are driving the drop.
Media Matters theorizes that the decline is due to advertisers leaving the Hannity show. Certainly, the cost of Hannity’s spots seem to have declined precipitously. TVNewser reports that Tucker Carlson Tonight earned $12,200 a spot, with Hannity at $8,500 last month. “SMI found that last September those show[s] were earning around $31,300 per spot,” TVNewser said. However, it’s not clear this is an apples to apples comparison because Tucker Carlson Tonight did not launch until November, 2016. Last September, The O’Reilly Factor aired during Carlson’s current slot. Hannity was at a later time slot until September 25, 2017.
So while it’s not a shock that the Carlson show, a relative newcomer, would be losing revenue to the previous juggernaut of O’Reilly, Hannity's move to an earlier time may result in a bigger figure next month.
Still the Hannity drop is striking. However, we're not ready to conclude that it’s an advertiser boycott, per se, and not a lack of advertiser enthusiasm for Hannity’s over-the-top and divisive hate mongering in general.
(Hannity image via screen grab.)
These frauds are too toxic for advertisers.
Remember – liar, fraud, coward, traitor. And those are his redeeming qualities.