Archive for the ‘Fox News’ Tag

Ratings Are Important   Leave a comment

Neil_CavutoA commercial medium wants to sell ad space or time to businesses with products or services for sale. To make that sale, they need to be able to tell potential advertisers that their messages on the air, in print, or on the monitor screen will be viewed and heard by large numbers of consumers. And that’s where ratings come in.

Nielsen program ratings for cable news channels for April 2012:

  1. The O’Reilly Factor – Fox News — 2.87 million total viewers
    2. Hannity – Fox News — 2.075 million total viewers
    3. Special Report with Bret Baier – Fox News — 1.778 million total viewers
    4. On the Record with Greta van Susteren – Fox News — 1.722 million total viewers
    5. Fox Report with Shepard Smith – Fox News — 1.688 million total viewers
    6. The Five – Fox News — 1.674 million total viewers
    7. America’s Newsroom – Fox News — 1.272 million total viewers
    8. Your World with Neil Cavuto – Fox News — 1.252 million total viewers
    9. O’Reilly Factor (11PM) – Fox News — 1.22 million total viewers
    10. America Live – Fox News — 1.191 million total viewers
    11. Studio B – Fox News — 1.113 million total viewers
    12. Fox & Friends – Fox News — 1.082 million total viewers
    13. Happening Now – Fox News — 1.029 million total viewers
    14. The Rachel Maddow Show – MSNBC — 985,000 total viewers
    15. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell – MSNBC — 931,000 total viewers
    16. The Ed Show – MSNBC — 875,000 total viewers
    17. Hardball with Chris Matthews – MSNBC — 744,000 total viewers
    18. PoliticsNation – MSNBC — 712,000 total viewers
    19. Piers Morgan Tonight – CNN — 567,000 total viewers
    20. The Situation Room – CNN — 548,000

Notice that programs owned by News Corporation dominate the first 13.  The next five are NBC Universal programs and the bottom two in the top 20 list are Time Warner programs.

Bill O’Reilly has five times as many viewers as Wolf Blitzer. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing nor should it be considered evidence that Rupert Murdock is Satan. Ratings just show what people are watching. When I worked in newspapers as a journalist one of the things I learned was that advertisers often couldn’t care less about the politics of a program so long as their advertising gets seen. Advertisers do not, therefore, exhibit much influence over the news they advertise on. Viewers actually exert a lot of control with the power of their remote control.

Rupert Murdock is not a conservative by American standards, but Fox News Network has a strong right leaning bias. Some of that can be attributed to Roger Ayles, the CEO, who is a conservative, but more of it is attributed to who viewers are tuning into. Apparently viewers like Bill O’Reilly more than they like Chris Matthews, so advertisers, wanting their ads to be seen by the most people, buy advertising where the viewers are. If Murdock were to replace Ayles with Hendrick Hertzberg (for example), Hertzberg would do well to note the ratings of Fox’s media stable and not mess too much with a winning formula because Murdock is all about making money and Bill O’Reilly brings in more advertising dollars than Wolf Blitzer.

 

Would those advertising dollars shrink if Hertzberg made O’Reilly modify his message? Yes, probably. How do I know? Look how high in the ratings Neil Cavuto is. Neil is not the most entertaining person to watch, but people are tuning in, so it has to be something other than his scintillating personality. His message is compelling and viewers are tuning in for that.

I’m not making a judgment about which message is better or whether you can trust Fox News to give you better information. I am saying the viewers seem to prefer FOX’s message over what is offered at MSNBC and CNN.

A Look at the News   Leave a comment

There are three major news networks these days — CNN, MSN, and Fox News. It depends on who you talk to whether these are liberal-bias, conservative-bias, or middle of the road. And plenty of people will sneer at the Fox News motto of “fair and balanced.”

In the run up to the 2008 election, the highly popular governor of Alaska was the vice-presidential candidate. I’m not going to rehash that campaign. Water under the bridge. But I would note that the news media all reported extensively on Sarah Palin and on Alaska. It was this coverage that ended my long belief that CNN was a middle of the road network that offered the most honest coverage.

Alaska is a subject I can claim some expertise in, so of course, when I heard things that made no sense with what I knew, I researched it. It’s what I do, right? There was the story that Sarah cut the state Department of Education budget by 30%. That seemed unlikely since there wasn’t a huge furor over it in Alaska at the time. Remember, I live in Alaska. It should have been front-page news here. So I fact-checked it. It was easy to do. A lot of Alaska’s public records are on line and most of the newspapers had covered it, but they hadn’t covered it as “Sarah Palin destroys education” but “As Sarah Palin maintains fiscal sanity during record oil revenues” .

In 2007, oil prices were booming and the State of Alaska was benefiting from that. The Legislature, in a organism of ecstasy at $90 a barrel oil, had submitted a budget that increased the Education budget by 30% and Sarah, calculating on a budget set for $65 a barrel had red-lined the increase and held spending at previous levels. Sarah did not cut the budget. She just refused to let them increase it.

NOTE:  This turned out to be incredibly prescient. Parnell allowed the budget to increase with the price of a barrel of oil. Now the price of oil is $50 a barrel and our state budget is set for $110 a barrel. Alaska is running a deficit. Unlike other states, we have savings accounts to cover us while we bring spending under control. We have those savings accounts (in excess of the Permanent Fund) because Sarah held the line on spending when we were rolling in revenue. Had Sarah remained our governor we probably wouldn’t be going through this crisis now.

There were several other claims about Alaska by CNN during that campaign that were easily fact-checked and turned out not to be true. I went so far as to forward two of them with links to the actual information to the CNN reporter (Solidad O”Brien as I recall) and received a canned reply. After about my third fact-finding foray, I decided — for the first time — to give Fox News a chance. I’d always heard that they were entertainment based and fake conservative. I’d seen some interactions between Alan Combs and Tucker Carlson years before that I hadn’t been impressed with. But I knew one thing. I knew that CNN was getting facts that were readily available to anyone with a standard search engine wrong and that meant I needed a new broadcast news network.

I was leery, so I googled anything that sounded fishy to me for quite some time and, for the most part, Fox’s news coverage is fair and balanced. Now, I’m not talking about their editorial policy. I’m talking about their news coverage. You don’t have to believe me. Here’s a study by an international outfit that looked into it.

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2012/01/06/study-is-fox-too-balanced-

But here’s the thing — I’m not at all sure we should be getting all of our news from a single cable channel or even several. And I’ll explain why in my next post.

thebibliophagist

a voracious reader. | a book blogger.

cupidcupid999

adventure, art, nature, travel, photography, wildlife - animals, and funny stuff

Republic-MainStreet

The Peaceful Revolution Liberate Main Street

atleastihaveafrigginglass

What could possibly go wrong?

Who the Hell Knows?

The name says it all.

Rebellious Hazelnuts

Surreal Stories, Very Tall Tales

Adjusting My Sails

When the wind doesn't blow the way you want, adjust your sails

Stine Writing

Poetry, Positivity, and Connecting!

Writer vs the World

In search of beauty, inspired by literature.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: