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Posts Tagged ‘Brad Adgate’

Following Ratings Stumble, CNN Plots Revised Course

“There will be changes.”

It was broadcast upfront week, and amid the chaos and the talk of CBS’s schedule and the fate of “30 Rock,” the discussion had shifted to CNN. A media buyer for one of the top firms told me that in a conversation with a senior executive at Time Warner, there was an expectation that CNN would be tweaking its programming, an effort to combat ratings fatigue.

In a terse statement earlier this month, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said that he and others at the company were “clearly not satisfied” with CNN’s situation, and promised that action would be taken to rectify it.

That situation–at least in the primetime ratings–is grim. Last week the channel had its lowest weekly primetime in total viewers in at least 20 years, and it did not do much better in the adults 25-54 demo that cable news actually sells against. May sweeps and the NBA playoffs probably had something to do with that, but sweeps aren’t enough to explain a 20-year low. Unless an unexpected news event happens, it will likely end up being another rough month for CNN ratings-wise when the final numbers come in next Tuesday.

“Obviously this is an indictment of their lineup, it is not working,” says Brad Adgate, senior VP of research at Horizon Media.

Adgate, who used to work in the research department at CNN and Turner,  says that for a political year ratings across cable news have been relatively flat. CNN saw ratings boosts earlier this year, when there were debates and primaries, but since then things have quieted down. TV viewers that are interested in the day-to-day political scuffles are almost by definition going to be partisan, and there are cable news channels tailored just for them.

“It was the first news network, it does have a great reputation and a great global brand name for the casual news viewer, but those aren’t the people who are going to watch debt news on a regular basis,” Adgate says. “The news is still the star at CNN and it isn’t necessarily the star at other cable news networks.”

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Google Wants to Disrupt The TV Business. Will TV News Be Affected?

Late Friday, Google announced an ambitious slate of nearly 100 “channels” for YouTube, each programmed by experienced media executives, production companies or celebrities. The move sends a clear message: Google wants a piece of the TV pie, and wants exclusive, high-quality content to help deliver it.

“TV is the Holy Grail,” Brad Adgate, senior VP and research director for Horizon media tells TVNewser. “I think this is something that has been gnawing at them for a number of years. TV is still the first screen. People spend more time in front of the TV set than any other screen. And it is tens of billions of dollars in industry, I think they would love to put television under their portfolio, I just think it has been a tough nut to crack for some of these tech companies.”

There are a number of news and commentary outlets creating channels, including Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Slate and Vice . Also on board to launch a channel are The Young Turks, led by former MSNBC host and soon-to-be Current TV host Cenk Uygur. The first program will be called “The Point,” and Uygur will pull double-duty, hosting it along with his Current show.

“I don’t know if the word is disrupt, I think probably compete is a decent word,” Uygur tells TVNewser. “Yes, they want to go after TV, and I think it makes all the sense in the world.”

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SNL Kagan Looks at the Business of Fox Business

Research firm SNL Kagan has released a report focusing on Fox Business Network. The report examines the state of the cable channel’s business, and makes some predictions as to its growth potential.

While News Corp. COO Chase Carey said that FBN will be “cash break even” this year, SNL Kagan predicts that FBN will start generating real profits starting in 2012. That said, barring some unforeseen viewing or advertising shift, it will likely remain far behind CNBC in terms of profitability.

By 2015, SNL Kagan predicts that FBN will be available in 86.5 million households (compared to 67.7M in 2011) and will be bringing in an average monthly subscription fee of $0.14 a month (compared to $0.12 in 2011).

FBN also shares a substantial problem with CNBC: the inability to count out-of-home viewing, as noted by analyst Brad Adgate.

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What Will “President Obama” Mean For Fox News?

hannity_1-19.jpgThe New York Times’ Brian Stelter takes a detailed look at what the future of Fox News will be with a Democrat in the White House.

FNC SVP Bill Shine says, “All I know is that over the course of the next four years, we’re going to do what we do really well — cover the news in a fair and balanced way and put on a very good product.”

But, as EVP of news editorial John Moody notes, “Will we give this incoming administration a Greek chorus of exaltation? No, but that speaks more about the other networks than about us.”

On the economic side, Brad Adgate, SVP for research at Horizon Media, says FNC is on “firm financial footing” in 2009. Adgate says FNC has “created appointment viewing on slow news days” and that “audience loyalty allow Fox to charge higher rates.”

Eric Alterman, liberal media columnist and author of “What Liberal Media?” sees FNC in a good spot with the new administration. “Fox is in a much better position with a liberalish Democrat in the White House than they were with a Republican,” he says.

But former White House press secretary Scott McClellan notes where FNC is likely to lose one household. “They’re certainly going to lose some market share at the White House,” said McClellan.

Earlier: FNC’s Jay Wallace looks to 2009 and reflects on the 2008 election.