Kathy Shaidle

Media Matters not quite sure how "media" actually works?

Posted on September 23 2009 9:00 am
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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Apparently, it’s some “Senior Fellow’s” job at Media Matters to watch Glenn Beck’s FOX News show, then report on which companies are still running commercials in his time slot.

Life in the George Soros Steno Pool. Darn, I knew I should have gone to college…

Let’s review, shall we? A group originally co-founded by disgraced ex-Green Jobs Czar Van Jones took exception to Beck’s exposes of Jones’ radical past and beliefs — exposes that led directly to Jones’ ousting from the White House.

The group, Color of Change, organized a boycott of Beck’s sponsors. The boycott is now a few months old, and Color Of Change boasts that it’s been a great success.

Except it hasn’t been. Because it was doomed from the start.

As I’ve documented elsewhere: Color of Change has only succeeded in:

a) alienating potential future allies in corporate America, which is populated by lots of guilt-ridden liberal do-gooders with deep pockets

b) smearing other companies like RadioShack — who’ve never advertised on Beck’s show but were stupidly added to the boycott list

c) looking like idiots, since the companies Color of Change is “boycotting”, such as WalMart, are ones left wing activists never patronized to begin with

d) firing up Beck’s large and loyal fan base, who quickly organized a “buy-cott” of the blacklisted companies.

But wait: there’s more.

Last week, I received an email from a network TV veteran who told me the boycott was even dumber than I’d ever imagined.

I’d still been using expressions like “day parts,” pointing out that Beck’s sponsors had simply shifted their ad buys to different FOX shows. The targeted advertisers may have been forced to douse a few P.R. fires, but FOX itself wasn’t out one red cent.

That’s not the half of it, the broadcasting insider explained to me. You see, the way the cable TV industry is set up, a boycott of its advertisers literally cannot succeed.

He’s allowed me to reprint his message, on the condition of anonymity:

You need to have an insider’s view of why the boycott against Glenn Beck is so laughable.

One of the major differences between broadcast operations and cable networks is how they generate income. For broadcasters advertising dollars rule the day. But in cable it is subscriber fees.

Each cable net charges the cable/satellite operator a fee for carriage. You set a rate and once you reach a certain saturation point you begin to make money. It doesn’t matter at that point if you sell ads or not.

In return the operator gets inventory to sell in the networks. So the operators and the networks get cash directly from the viewers and whatever ad money they generate is mere icing on the cake. Fox News could run PSA’s and AbCruncher spots 24/7 and still make money. (…)

The other laugh is this: 18 million of Fox News Channel’s viewers are on DirecTV… that’s owned by NewsCorp. Those fees go into Murdoch’s pocket if FNC aired a test pattern, let alone Glenn Beck.

In other words: cable tv makes money from viewers’ monthly subscriptions to their services. Any ad revenue they rake in later is just gravy.

But here’s the point: this pathetic Glenn Beck “boycott” is yet another example of a theme I’ve been harping on for some time: the activist left lives in the past. Their entire worldview is past its “best before” date. Yet they persist in deploying the strategies and tactics of a romanticized past — then lash out at the rest of us when these tactics inevitably fail.

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