Fox News might be protecting their racist, sexist darling Tucker Carlson, but at least they appear to be losing ad revenue while doing it.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, a review of the ads run during Tucker Carlson Tonight indicates that his anti-immigrant comments he made on the show in December and the sexist, racist comments he made on a radio show between 2006 and 2011 dug up by Media Matters for America have actually had a negative impact. As a result of at least 26 major sponsors such as Pacific Life Insurance dropping from advertising, Fox News has reportedly increased its number of “house ads” during Carlson’s program to fill the empty slots. These included commercials for Fox Nation, Fox television and Fox Sports programming, and for the channel itself.
Specifically, in the two weeks leading up to Carlson’s comments that immigration makes America “poorer, dirtier, and more divided,” the show played 1.33 house ads per show. After MMFA began resurfacing Carlson’s radio comments on March 10, however, the nine episodes that have aired since played 6.2 house ads per show.
Overall, house ads jumped from 3.7 percent of the show’s ad spots leading up to Carlson’s December comments, to 34.8 percent of ad spots after MMFA exposed Carlson’s comments.
Tucker Carlson Tonight seems to be going strong with direct-response ads from wonkily-named products such as MyPillow, MyPhoto, and ReputationDefender, and has even garnered support from the MAGA-headed MyPillow guy. Despite this, its remaining major sponsors are appearing less than reliable. From the Reporter:
In the last week and a half of shows, the only major brand advertisers have been Progressive Insurance, Nutrisystem, and Bayer, though the pharmaceutical company, once a major and reliable Tucker Carlson advertiser, has not run a spot on the show since March 11. A spokesperson for Bayer has not responded to requests for comment on the company’s plans. Prominent Carlson advertiser Jenny Craig has also not advertised recently.
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro has probably put more heat on the company after her Islamophobic rant in which she targeted Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Oman, which lost her show at least four corporate sponsors. However, Fox News denies that it’s hurting at all, and Carlson seems to think he will live to Tuck another day. From the Reporter again, emphasis mine:
Brad Adgate, an industry analyst, said that relying on house ads could work as a “short-term” strategy. But, he said, “if this is a prolonged ‘boycott’ of the show, at some point Fox News might be forced to consider other options. It’s on primetime, one of the most watched shows on Fox News, and to have it filled with mostly promos and direct-response ads is resulting in lost revenue for the newer Fox company.” (The network has denied that Carlson’s lost advertisements have hurt the company financially and has decried efforts to protest the show as “intimidation.”)
Carlson, in particular, is thought to be well-liked by the Murdoch family that controls parent company Fox and is in little danger of losing his job.
What, you expected Fox to do the right thing?