The right wingers watch, the left reads...

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. CNN Is Clobbered
    By Fox On Cable,
    Revenges On Web

    By: Rebecca Dana
    Date: 2/13/2006
    Page: 1

    Quietly, on the Internet, the terms of the cable-news ratings battle have been reversed: Web audiences flock to and, while trails badly.

    Even more quietly, that Web traffic is rescuing the finances of the trailing networks—supplying tens of millions of dollars a month.

    For all its struggles in the TV ratings, CNN is still reporting revenue growth. That’s due to money from online advertising, according to senior vice president and general manager David Payne.

    “You gotta show growth,” Mr. Payne said. “And right now, all that growth is coming out of interactive.”

    At MSNBC, the Web site sometimes earns more in monthly ad revenue than the cable channel does, said Kyoo Kim, the site’s vice president of sales.

    On Feb. 3, BusinessWeek reported that MSNBC and CNN have been beating Fox on the Web in Nielsen online ratings.

    On Feb. 6, CNN supplied The Observer with its own internal traffic-tracking numbers: According to the site’s data, had 1,313,592,095 page views in January 2006.

    Nielsen’s Net Tracker records about half that—a discrepancy commonly lamented by Web executives, who are able to monitor exactly how many hits their sites receive. MSNBC, by Nielsen figures, has similar page views to CNN.

    Meanwhile, Nielsen credits with about 200 million page views a month; head Bert Solivan estimated that the actual figure is more than double that. That would put the Web leaders ahead of Fox by not quite a billion page views apiece.

    Those numbers translate into money. Though the networks won’t discuss figures for online advertising revenue, it’s possible to make some estimates—based on how much they charge for ads and how many times the ads are seen. charges between $9 and $30 for 1,000 page views of a display ad. (For comparison’s sake, a 30-second spot during Anderson Cooper 360 costs around $10,000, according to one television buyer. That means an advertiser would pay around $16 to reach 1,000 viewers.)

    Assuming the cheapest rate, $9, and assuming a single ad per page, the site would make $12 million per month, at the very minimum.

    In truth, often has at least two display ads per page, and sometimes the whole thing is sponsored by a single company. On Feb. 6, for example, AT&T owned every ad on the home page.

    Other intangibles muddy the algorithm: discounts given advertisers, graduated rates for targeting specific audiences (sports fans, for example) and click-through ads, which pay only when a viewer chooses to click on them.

    Nevertheless, given the ad density and the prices, it’s safe to guess that display ads alone make tens of millions of dollars for and each month.

    And that doesn’t include the priciest part of Web advertising: video ads. Last month, users watched 26,862,029 clips on, according to the network. At prices between $35 and $45 per thousand views, the 10-second ad spots attached to each clip would have brought in an additional million dollars, at least, for the network.

    All of this makes up a growing share of the networks’ total yearly revenue. In 2005, CNN grossed $794 million in revenue. Fox made $574 million; MSNBC made $258 million.

    “The data is pretty clear,” said Mr. Payne. “The broadcast-news ratings chart just drops and drops and drops. For cable, it’s probably less dramatic, but it’s still true. There’s just no doubt in my mind that online usage is going to dominate in the future. Whether that’s 20 years from now or five years from now, I don’t know. But it’s going to win in the end.”

    In 1976’s Network, Faye Dunaway lusted after a 20 rating and a 30 share. In a contemporary remake—not necessarily the CBS one that George Clooney has in the works—that character would get just as hot for a 30 percent net penetration and a 30 percent audience growth rate. That is what had last quarter, according to an independent study by Jupiter Research. had around a 25 percent penetration, which means it reaches about a quarter of the online news audience, and a growth rate around 10 percent. Fox was the reverse: a penetration under 10 percent but a growth rate of 25 percent.

    “We’re going to be ramping up pretty dramatically over the course of the year,” said Bert Solivan, the general manager of Fox is on par with the other networks in terms of the time each visitor spends on its site—a key factor in determining ad rates—but the network came late to the Internet, and without a portal (like to funnel viewers to the site, has struggled to catch up.

    “News Corp. is really pushing heavy in the Internet space, with [Rupert] Murdoch making a big push online,” Mr. Solivan said. “Part and parcel of that is obviously the expansion of What we’re doing is, we’re building the technical and production infrastructure, and we’re expanding content across the board.”

    So who are the people visiting these sites? From a marketing point of view, they’re an attractive target.

    For one thing, they are overwhelmingly employed. Almost all Web traffic for news sites comes between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., from people who are theoretically being paid to do something other than surf the Internet for news about Brangelina’s baby or the latest lunatic pronouncement from the president of Iran. They are slightly more male than female. They are well educated, and they probably make more than $75,000 a year. And no matter what they see during the day online, many will still go home and watch television at night.

    “The amount of time people are spending on news sites is still not what they’re spending watching TV,” said Charlie Tillinghast, the president and publisher of “They’ve really just added the Internet to their media consumption. I guess they’re spending less time socializing or something. But eventually—there’s only so many hours in the day—eventually people are going to have to shift a little bit.”

    Advertisers, for their part, have been slow to pick up on the trend. According to the Online Publishers Association, only 6 percent of media advertising dollars are spent online, while more than 40 percent are spent on television commercials and about 30 percent on newspaper ads. But about 34 percent of people listed the Internet as their primary source of news, higher than television (32 percent), radio (20 percent) or newspapers (8 percent).

    Sensing the shift, networks have begun pouring money into their online operations, expanding the staff, double-tasking television correspondents with also filing for the Web, and outfitting giant newsrooms in anticipation of a bigger shift. is the only fully high-definition-equipped newsroom at CNN.

    The size of these operations is difficult to tally, because the Web sites are joint ventures involving many parts of vast media conglomerates, with staffs that are partly shared with other divisions. has 250-odd full-time staffers and twice that number spread throughout CNN’s parent company, Turner Broadcasting, according to Mr. Payne. has about 175 employees devoted exclusively to the site—spread among offices in Redmond, New York, London and Washington—and many others spread among the news divisions of NBC Universal, said Mr. Tillinghast. By the end of the year, Mr. Solivan estimated, would have 100 full-time personnel.

    The broadcast networks have also entered the competition, with Web sites that are updated 24 hours a day. In January, ABC News launched a 3 p.m. webcast of World News Tonight. In July 2005, CBS relaunched, the brainchild of former News president Andrew Heyward and online director Larry Kramer, which allowed visitors to create their own webcasts, using segments from the evening news and pieces produced specially for the Web.

    “We’re in full-growth mode,” said Mike Sims, the director of news and operations for “There are so many opportunities here, and it’s really just beginning. Between Internet and wireless and everything else that’s out there, it’s just going to take a few years to let some of the newer technology settle in. But it’s wide open.”
  2. I think your title or header is backwards. Fox News is one channel, while the left can turn to MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.

    As far as the reading, right wing authors (such as Ann COulter) collectively sell far more books than any of the left, even with NPR.
  3. Yes, people do buy books from Coulter, they need something to read while parked on the crapper.....

    Many people are turning to the internet for news, away from TV.

    They are not turning to, which was what the article is reporting.

  4. There is a very simple explanation to this.

    Fox news watchers have jobs that require them to be working during the day so they go home and watch the news at night, where as, CNN readers have very little responsibility in their positions which allows them to surf during work hours.
  5. I visit all the news websites personally. This is a silly argument actually. Almost as silly as Olberman continually trying to impress his cult following claiming O' Reilly's the worst person in the world with his audience 1/5 of that of Bill's.