Don’t Blame Fox for the O’Reilly Fiasco, Blame the Advertisers

After twenty years, the man whose TV show helped to make Fox News the number one cable news network is gone.

Bill O’ Reilly lost his job at Fox News Channel after the NY Times reported that five women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations on April 1st. The report initiated an online movement cause the show to lose half its advertisers. And 18 days later Bill O’ Reilly was gone. Sadly it was a move that FNC had to make before the dollar losses got worse.

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21st Century Fox issued a statement Wednesday that “after a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.” O’ Reilly has ruled the “no spin zone” with cable news’ most popular show, and his ratings had never been higher. Keep in mind though, that ratings only matter because it enables the ad sales department to charge more for advertising. If a show has the ratings but marketers don’t want to advertise , the network is going to lose money.

If a newspaper/magazine doesn’t have an advertiser to fill an ad slot, they can cut back on the number of articles in a particular issue, to save printing and mailing costs.  As a former publisher of a magazine I had to make that decision many times.

Unlike magazines, newspapers, and websites, TV and Radio advertising is limited by the clock. A magazine can throw in another article if there is more advertising but a cable network, even one as powerful as Fox cannot change an hour to sixty-one minutes. And once a program runs and an ad slot isn’t filled the network can never get that ad slot back…

 

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