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CNN Lost Nearly 40% of Ad Revenue Under Chris Licht

“The number of advertisers on CNN decreased by 23% during the first four months of 2023.”

Maddy Troy

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The ad revenue at CNN witnessed a significant decline of nearly 40% during Chris Licht’s tenure as CEO of the cable news network, which came to an abrupt end on Wednesday.

According to The Wrap, data collected by MediaRadar reveals that advertisers spent $513 million on CNN TV and digital outlets in the first four months of 2022, just before Licht assumed the CEO position. However, from January to April 2023, ad spending dropped to $313 million, indicating a 39% year-over-year decrease in revenue.

The decline in April was particularly sharp, with ad revenue falling from $153 million in April 2022 to $80 million in April 2023. MediaRadar CEO Todd Krizelman commented on the downward trend, stating, “Our data analysis suggests a significant downward trend in CNN’s ad revenue during Chris Licht’s tenure, reflecting substantial declines both in total spend and in the number of advertisers.”

The number of advertisers on CNN decreased by 23% during the first four months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, going from 2,700 companies to 2,100. Only 29% of the advertisers from 2022 returned in 2023.

Prominent companies such as Thumbtack, Apple, Cisco, and Disney reduced their ad spending by 90% year over year, and fewer companies made substantial investments in advertising with CNN. In the first four months of 2022, 68 companies spent $2 million or more on CNN properties, whereas in the same period of 2023, only 17 companies reached that spending level.

Warner Bros. Discovery, the publicly traded parent company of CNN, does not disclose revenue specifically for CNN. In its first-quarter earnings report, it did revealed a 15% year-over-year decline in advertising revenue for its Networks segment, which includes CNN, citing “audience declines” as a contributing factor.

CNN has not yet provided a comment on the MediaRadar figures. MediaRadar utilizes data sampled from national TV broadcasts and digital campaigns to compile its estimates.

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Media Business

SPECai Welcomes Adams Radio Group and Southern Stoen Communications as New Customers

The two radio companies join other broadcasters like Connoisseur Media, Summit Media, and Magnum Communications at adopting the product.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the SpecAI logo

SPECai, the artificial intelligence product created in conjunction with ENCO Systems, Benztown, and Compass Media Networks, has inked a deal with Adams Radio Group and Southern Stone Communications to use the technology.

Southern Stone Communications will utilize the product in Jackson, TN; Valdosta, GA; Daytona Beach, FL; and Huntsville, AL. Meanwhile, Adams Radio Group will utilize it at stations in Tallahassee, FL; Las Cruces, NM; Valparaiso, IN; and Ft. Wayne, IN.

“SPECai is absolutely transformative. I was amazed by the blend of technology and creativity. Within minutes, our sellers are able to create top-notch spec spots,” said Adams Radio Group Northern Indiana Vice President and Market Manager Jennifer Figg. “The interface is easy and intuitive, saving us time and making the production process more efficient. Each spot is crafted with a professional touch. We only just started and have already closed new business.”

“I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly our sellers could create a great sounding commercial, with no help from production, and use it to help close new business,” added Southern Stone Communications Vice President of Sales and General Manager Chip Thomas. “I would highly recommend this product for any sales team looking for creative ways to close more business.”

The two radio companies join other broadcasters like Connoisseur Media, Summit Media, and Magnum Communications in adopting the product.

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Media Business

Women Prefer AM/FM Radio to Everything But Their Phone, New Study Shows

Traditional radio eclipsed Amazon (43%), Netflix (40%), Apple (26%), Spotify (26%) and TikTok (24%) among other strong digital audio and video brands.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of an on-air light

As more and more listeners spend time with digital audio, the role of AM/FM Radio is questioned. However, according to a new study, the medium is still a strong one, especially with women.

New metrics released by Westwood One’s Audio Active Group shows that a study of 1001 women between 15-64 shows that 46% said they “love” their favorite AM/FM Radio station. While 51% said they “love” their mobile phone as the top vote-getter, terrestrial radio came in second.

Traditional radio eclipsed Amazon (43%), Netflix (40%), Apple (26%), Spotify (26%) and TikTok (24%) among other strong digital audio and video brands. Radio, however, dropped to 22% when respondents were asked about their love of the medium in general and not their favorite specific stations.

While the study shows women “love” radio, they admitted in their responses that the medium doesn’t often mesh with the busy lifestyle they currently live between family, relationships, and living a healthy lifestyle.

Also, nearly 60% of women agreed that “Today’s music is not as good as it was years ago.” Another factor of decreased listening is that women find the number of commercials unbearable and believe many ads are “annoying.”

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Media Business

Nielsen Debuts The Media Distributor Gauge Showing TV Audience By Company

In the first report of the new gauge, 14 companies saw a 1.0% share or great of the total TV usage.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the Nielsen logo

Nielsen has unveiled The Media Distributor Gauge, which will provide information on television audience size on a per-company basis. 

The new measurement category became a necessity as streaming television continues to grow with many broadcast and cable networks utilizing the new technology as an alternate distribution method.

Coinciding with The Gauge, which measures the method by which viewers watch television, The Media Distributor Gauge is the insight into measuring an expanding and changing field.

“With more programs available across platforms, it’s vital for creators, advertisers, and the industry at large to understand what and where audiences are watching,” said Karthik Rao, CEO of Nielsen. “The Media Distributor Gauge is a perfect complement to The Gauge and serves as the first convergent TV comparison of its kind. Together, these reports paint the most complete picture of TV viewing today, which is critical as we head into the Upfront.”

In the first report of the new gauge, 14 companies saw a 1.0% share or great of the total TV usage.

The Walt Disney Company accounted for 11.5% of TV, as 42% of that figure came from Disney+ and Hulu.

YouTube (9.6%), NBCUniversal (8.9%), Paramount (8.8%), Warner Bros. Discovery (8.1%), Netflix (7.6%), and FOX (6.1%) all finished between 5-10% of the total viewing share.

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