Beck antagonist quantifies its campaign


ColorOfChange, the organization which kicked off the advertising boycott of Glenn Beck’s Fox News Channel program, says it has decreased advertising revenue on the program by well over 50%. Meanwhile, others are pointing out that Beck is attributing far too much power to FCC Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd.

ColorOfChange says it used “industry sources” to estimate ad revenue on the program. It believes the program peaked at $1.06M during the week ending 8/2/09, just prior to the beginning of the boycott.

CoC says 62 advertisers left the program after the boycott, and by the week ending 9/6/09, the program’s weekly income had been cut to an estimated $492K, a loss of $568K.

 “Fox News Channel has consistently claimed they haven’t lost revenue as advertisers abandon Glenn Beck, but the numbers prove otherwise,” said James Rucker, Executive Director of CoC. “Fox News Channel has a limited amount of ad positions. If 62 companies refuse to run ads on two of their 24 hours of programming, they are losing inventory.”

Meanwhile, Lloyd was a journalist, scholar and watchdog member who in the past wrote many things about the media in those capacities. He was opposed to media consolidation, was concerned about the ideological imbalance of political talk on the radio, and wrote on other controversial topics.

In his current capacity as an FCC advisor, his main focus will be to try to improve broadband adoption among minorities and small businesses.

He has been under attack from conservative talkers, and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) even got into the act back in August. He has been presented as a Fairness Doctrine supporter who wants to stifle people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. But he does not have the “czar” power that has been attributed to him.

The FCC has repeatedly said it is not interested in trying to revive the Fairness Doctrine. Some believe the broadcast localism proceeding will be a backdoor way to revive the Doctrine, and the FCC says that is not true, either.

You may believe the FCC or not. In either case, Lloyd’s job description should keep his some distance away from this issue, and even if he was involved, it would be merely as an advisor. He does not have a position of power.

RBR/TVBR observation: FNC has said that the boycott has not cost a single advertiser, just time-shifted them, but as we pointed out before, FNC has to be able to make use of the inventory in every programming block if it’s going to maximize its revenue potential. Still no word of any trouble whatsoever on the radio side.

As for Lloyd, his views are probably fairly close to the views of Commissioner Michael Copps, the difference being that Copps is in a much stronger position to do something about them. The fact that a Democratic administration picked somebody to fill a government position with views similar to a Democrat working in the same agency should not be at all surprising to anybody.