Fox News Launches Campaign to Woo Morning Viewers

Fox News hopes to shake up some TV viewers’ morning routines.

The 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news network is trying to draw viewers to its “Fox & Friends” and mid-morning “America’s Newsroom” with a new ad and promo campaign – as some rival broadcast morning programs deal with issues of their own.

In a series of print ads and video promos that kicked off Monday, Fox News Channel tells viewers that “We Own Mornings,” and touts both A.M. entries. The cable-news network is running TV ads on some local stations affiliated with NBC and CBS, as well as on its own air and print ads in the New York Post (owned by its sister corporation, News Corp.) “Only one network owns the mornings,” says an announcer in the video ads, followed by “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade saying to Ainsley Earhardt and Steve Doocy, “This is something all America should see.”

The effort comes as two broadcast networks, CBS and NBC, are working their way through the aftermath of surprising departures by two of the daypart’s best-known anchors. Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer were fired by CBS and NBC, respectively, in recent weeks owing to allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.  Neither network has announced a replacement for either and both are believed to be considering various internal candidates at present. The Fox News ads do not mention any of the rivals to their programs.

“Fox & Friends” is having a record-setting year in terms of ratings. President Donald Trump has given several interviews to the program since being elected and often cites it on Twitter. Year to date through December 6, “Fox & Friends” has captured an average of 367,000 people between 25 and 54 – the demographic most favored by news-program advertisers – a 32% jump over the year-earlier period. The show has attracted an average of 1.6 million viewers, a 25% gain over the year-earlier period, according to Nielsen. More people in both categories watch the show than its two main cable rivals, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and CNN’s “New Day.” “America’s Newsroom” has seen similar surges in the two categories and also beats its two cable rivals.

And yet,  the broadcast shows get bigger audiences to tune in. ABC, NBC and CBS continue to command the biggest audiences at wake-up time. “GMA” and “Today” each woo more than 4 million people on average, while “CBS This Morning” gets more than 3.5 million. Fox no doubt senses an opportunity to shake loose some viewers who may be undecided while two broadcast programs are in transition.

All three main A.M. cable programs have seen surges among viewers between 25 and 54, owing in part to their deeper dive into political news. The three broadcast programs tend top cast a wider net among general audiences.

 

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