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TV Networks Put Harder Sell Behind Hard News as 2020 Election Draws Closer

The goal's to capture more interest from sponsors who normally gravitate toward entertainment

There’s likely little common ground between MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, but the executives who run their respective news outlets have found something upon which they both can agree.

Both NBCUniversal and Fox Corp. are talking to advertisers about recent or ongoing research that demonstrates viewers don’t think negatively about the advertisers in news programs, no matter whether the host leans toward a particular political view or if the news itself is extremely serious.

Viewers “without fail say they don’t penalize a brand for sponsoring something that the company may not stand for,” said Laura Molen, president of NBCUniversal ad sales, in an interview. NBCU recently dispatched Red Lantern Strategy, a market-research firm, to talk with viewers of MSNBCCNN and Fox News in Dallas and New York. Over the course of detailed hour-long interviews, Molen says, 18 respondents described a favorite news program as “their show” – and didn’t attach any controversy to sponsors.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Variety.

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