Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson have paid a hefty price for their controversial comments in recent months, according to TheWrap, with millions in lost ad revenue.
According to an analysis for TheWrap by advertising data firm Standard Media Index, Fox News’ 10 p.m. slot, hosted by Ingraham, was down at least $16 million in ad revenue in 2018. Carlson’s show, which airs at 8 p.m., has lost another $2.2 million thanks to an ad boycott that began in December after he said mass immigration makes the U.S. “poorer, and dirtier, and more divided.”
Though the total loss is more than $18 million, the boycotts still did not put a significant dent in the company’s overall ad revenue, which ended 2018 at $805 million.
Still, the liberal-led boycotts have “forced both ‘The Ingraham Angle’ and ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ to fill their commercial breaks with unpaid station promos.”
TheWrap said Fox News claims no revenues have been lost due to the boycotts, adding that some advertisers who left have already returned.
“Advertisers have started to return and this period is not representative of the status quo in commercial loads for the industry as virtually every network runs a lighter commercial load during the first two weeks of the year,” Marianne Gambelli, Fox News president of ad sales, told TheWrap in a statement. “No revenue was lost as inventory has been shifted to other dayparts and we are on track to deliver a record year in ad sales.”
Ingraham found herself the subject of ire after attacking school shooting survivor David Hoff in early 2018, tweeting that he had whined about being rejected by several colleges.
In response, Hogg called upon his online following to boycott the Fox host’s advertisers, resulting in at least 27 companies pulling ad dollars from her show.
In late June 2018, Hogg renewed his call for a boycott after Ingraham compared child-detention facilities for refugees along the U.S. border to “summer camps.” Revenues for the 10 p.m. hour took another big dive in July 2019, dropping $1.7 million, or about 47 percent, from July 2017, according to SMI’s numbers.
Carlson’s advertiser woes began after he complained that “an endless chain of migrant caravans” are making “our own country poorer, and dirtier, and more divided.”
The day he made those remarks — Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018 — Carlson’s show brought in $493,000 in ad revenue, SMI reported.
But the effects were almost immediate. By the following Tuesday, Carlson’s ad revenue had plummeted to $92,000, according to SMI. Revenues have not completely bounced back: They have ranged between $79,000 and $236,000 a night for the month of December.
Ingraham and Carlson have both enjoyed strong ratings despite the sponsor boycotts — but their advertisers have been slow to return.
Regardless, it would appear Fox News is still doing very well for itself on the whole:
While SMI said Fox News earned more than $805 million in ad revenue in 2018, research firm SNL Kagan offers a higher number: It estimates Fox News generated $1.02 billion in ad revenue and $1.6 billion in gross profits in 2018, a record year for the network.