BY Bryan Chai, The Western JournalMay 9, 2023
7 months ago

Fox News Suffers Huge Loss in Brutal Earnings Report - Here's What Is to Blame

In a bit of harrowing news for Fox News, the numbers are looking grim, and the substantial damage wrought by Tucker Carlson's unceremonious ouster isn't even the key culprit.

According to a Tuesday report from The Hollywood Reporter, Fox News is claiming a $50 million loss last quarter.

Fox is largely attributing that loss to the Dominion Voting Systems' lawsuit and subsequent settlement.

Dominion sued Fox News for defamation over the network's coverage of the 2020 general election fallout -- in which former President Donald Trump denied the authenticity of that result due to voter irregularities.

Fox News and Dominion ultimately settled for $787.5 million.

That's obviously a hefty settlement, and a $50 million quarterly loss might be more palatable knowing that it largely had to do with the the settlement.

"During the quarter we booked an $850 million charge in Other, net in relation to the Fox News Media defamation cases, reflecting all incurred and estimable costs at this time," a Fox representative said, per the Reporter.

Only, in this case, that's not all the bad news for Fox News.

The report noted that the suddenly-struggling news network is only citing the legal costs associated with the settlement on last quarter's financials -- not the settlement itself.

In fact, whatever financial hit that the settlement ultimately takes won't show up until next quarter's earnings report, at the earliest.

While Fox was quick to attribute any financial woes on the Dominion settlement, Fox News CEO Lachlan Murdoch was a bit more bullish on any long-term damage left by Carlson's abrupt departure.

“With regards to our programming strategy in primetime, there’s no change to our programming strategy at Fox News,” Murdoch told investors on an earnings call.

The CEO added: “It’s obviously a successful strategy. And as always, you know, we are adjusting our programming and our lineup, and that’s what we continue to do.”

The "obviousness" of Fox News' primetime success is certainly debatable, however.

Ratings for Fox News, particularly in and around Carlson's old time slot, immediately cratered with Carlson out. Those ratings have not gotten better.

There is certainly an argument to be made that a few hours of suppressed ratings won't mean much to a 24-hour news network, particularly with ads (and therefore ad revenue) running during those 24 hours.

Indeed, the Reporter noted that Fox News very likely would've turned a profit last quarter had it not been for the Dominion settlement, due in no small part to ad revenue.

But it's hard to argue that Fox News hasn't lost some cachet with swathes of conservatives.

Couple that with what will very likely be two poor quarters and earning reports in a row, and you have a Fox News that's as vulnerable as it's ever been in the media landscape.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Written by: Bryan Chai, The Western Journal



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