Nick Kayal: There’s A Battle Brewing Between Fox News and MSNBC
“I’d love to be in one of those meetings where they say ‘Ok, how do we balance — we wanna make more money, but I’d love to have 2.7 million viewers and not 1.6 (million).”
Fox News has been subject to a ratings dip after it unceremoniously fired Tucker Carlson late last month. 1210 WPHT morning host Nick Kayal noted there’s a fight brewing between the network and MSNBC.
“This is interesting with Fox News. Now, it’s still early, so I’m not going to say ‘Oh my God, Fox News is dead. Bury ’em, they’re gone, forget about ’em’, but MSNBC is beating Fox in last week’s ratings,” the Kayal & Company host said Friday. “They’re beating them in many different demos and dayparts. And not just at night. Morning Joe beat FOX & Friends by almost 100,000 viewers…Sean Hannity gets crushed by Rachel Maddow, and Laurence O’Donnell is beating Laura Ingraham.
“So, if I’m Fox, and I’m looking at my primetime ratings right now, Hannity is losing to MSNBC, Ingraham is losing to MSNBC, I’m beating MSNBC with a bunch of rotating fill-in dudes, and gals. The only thing I feel good about is Jesse Watters at 7:00 PM ET, is doubling up Joy Reid. I feel good about 8:00 PM ET. I have no consistency in that spot, and it’s still beating MSNBC in that 8 o’clock spot.
“And we gave you that story about how a lot advertisers coming back to Fox in that 8 o’clock spot, because Tucker Carlson wasn’t deemed to be advertiser-friendly ’cause he had the most stones to say stuff that others won’t say and go into topics others won’t go into.”
Kayal then noted that the network could be pulled in two directions due to an increased revenue but a decrease in total audience.
“It’s interesting because if you think about the balance, you’re making more money, but you’re not getting as many eyeballs. I’d love to be in one of those meetings where they say ‘Ok, how do we balance — we wanna make more money, but I’d love to have 2.7 million viewers and not 1.6 (million). Very interesting dynamic. MSNBC has picked up in some other spots, not named the Tucker Carlson spot. I don’t know if that has sustainability or lasting power. But it seems there’s a little bit of a battle between Fox and MSNBC.”
Bob Pittman: iHeartMedia Won’t Be Shutting Down Broadcast Stations
“90% of Americans listen to iHeart broadcast radio stations every month. To put that in context, the biggest TV network reaches less than 40% of Americans and the big streaming music services reach less than 30%.”
Very few large broadcasting corporations adopted digital platforms as quickly as iHeartMedia did. iHeartRadio is one of the most popular platforms for streaming content from a variety off stations. Bob Pittman says that does not mean the company does not see plenty of value in traditional broadcast radio.
Lydia Moynihan of The New York Post spoke with the iHeartMedia CEO Friday morning. She asked Pittman if he could foresee a day when the company would be done with terrestrial radio and focus solely on digital products.
“To the contrary – the strength and foundation of our company is our broadcast radio stations,” Pittman responded. “90% of Americans listen to iHeart broadcast radio stations every month. To put that in context, the biggest TV network reaches less than 40% of Americans and the big streaming music services reach less than 30%.”
He added that any success that the company has seen with podcasting or streaming is clearly linked to the success of the its radio stations. He said that is true for its live events too.
“We use that massive and unique reach of our broadcast radio to build complementary products like the iHeartRadio digital service and our major events like the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the iHeartRadio Music Awards and the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, and it’s why we’re the #1 podcast publisher by a lot. It all starts with using the trusted voices on our broadcast radio stations and creating demand – and with our unparalleled reach we have quite an advantage over the other audio players, regardless of their cash war chests.”
Buffalo, Chicago, Milwaukee Top Markets for AM Radio
“The study shows thirteen markets that have at least 40% of listeners using AM radio. Ten of them are in the Midwest.”
Nielsen has looked at information from the 2022 fall book to determine where AM radio is the most popular. The company released a list Thursday of 141 markets where at least 20% of radio listeners tune to AM radio in a given month. Cities in the Great Lakes region are all at the top of the list.
In Buffalo, 56% of radio listeners use the AM band in a month. The market’s most-listened to stations are both AM stations owned by Audacy – news/talk WBEN and sports talker WGR. Neither has an FM simulcast.
There is a tie for second place. 48% of listeners in Chicago utilize AM. Popular news stations WGN and WLS are both only available on AM as is the market’s heritage sports talk brand, 670 The Score. Milwaukee is the other market with 48% of listeners using AM radio.
AM radio remains very popular in the Midwest. The study shows thirteen markets that have at least 40% of listeners using AM radio. Ten of them are in the Midwest.
Last month, Nielsen used numbers from the 2022 Fall book to show that across the country, more than 82 million people rely on AM radio during a month. That is a third of all terrestrial radio listeners.
A hearing on Sen. Ed Markey’s AM For Every Vehicle Act is scheduled for Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Fox News Radio Reportedly Facing Cutbacks
“Freelance shifts still exist on the network and current freelancers have been offered other opportunities over the weekend. Staff employees were not impacted.”
According to All Access, Fox News Radio is tightening the belt a bit. Job cuts and staff reassignments are on the way.
Most of the effected positions are filled by freelancers. Reporters and fill-in hosts could be effected.
“Fox News Audio has reduced the number of freelance shifts and adjusted its workflow on weekends,” a source told Perry Michael Simon. “Freelance shifts still exist on the network and current freelancers have been offered other opportunities over the weekend. Staff employees were not impacted.”
One full-time staffer has confirmed that he is out. News anchor Kerin McCue had been with Fox News Radio since 2012. He told All Access that he will exit some time this month. The report does not say if that is the result of these cutbacks or McCue’s own decision.
The network does have a lower-cost plan for the weekend. Some repurposed content from SiriusXM’s Fox News Headlines 24/7 will fill newscast slots.