Tuesday, February 9, 2021

FOX Ad Revenue Jumps Eight Percent

Fox Corp. said political advertising on its local television stations reached record levels at the end of last year, fueling revenue growth for the company’s latest quarter.

The Wall Street Journal reports the company behind Fox News, Fox Sports, the Fox broadcast network, local television stations and other media assets Tuesday reported $4.09 billion in revenue for its fiscal second quarter that ended Dec. 31, up 8% compared with the same period a year earlier.

Advertising revenue was up 14% overall in the quarter, a gain driven in part by demand for political ads on its local stations, Fox said. The company also saw stronger advertising revenue tied to its cable properties, which include Fox News.

Fox News was the No. 1 cable news channel in 2020, its 19th consecutive year reaching that milestone. But Fox began to lose ground in the ratings after the election and has fallen behind CNN and MSNBC in several key viewership categories.

Smaller rivals Newsmax and One America News Network meanwhile have gained some viewers with their very pro-Trump programming as well.

Fox News and sister channel Fox Business have been making changes to their lineups. Fox News has replaced its 7 p.m. news hour with opinion shows with rotating hosts including Maria Bartiromo and Trey Gowdy.

At the same time, it canceled Lou Dobbs’s show on Fox Business Network last Friday. Mr. Dobbs had been one of the most ardent supporters of former President Donald Trump and was named as a defendant in a $2.7 billion defamation suit brought against the Fox News group by Smartmatic USA Corp. The voting-machine company alleged Fox News and Fox Business aired defamatory comments about its technology.

No replacement has been named for Mr. Dobbs. Fox Business hired Larry Kudlow, a former CNBC anchor and a U.S. National Economic Council director in the Trump administration, to host a 4 p.m. weekday show beginning next week.

Television revenue rose to $2.56 billion from $2.27 billion.

Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott has renewed her contract in a new multiyear deal, Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch announced Tuesday.

Scott, a 25-year veteran of the company who became Fox News’ first female CEO three years ago, expressed gratitude to Lachlan Murdoch and his father, News Corp. founder and chairman Rupert Murdoch: “I am grateful to Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch for the opportunity to continue leading Fox News Media and positioning all of our platforms for future success.”

Scott previously served as president of programming for Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.

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