Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT
Just a little context for the griping coming from network television circles for having to air Obama's primetime press conference tonight. In the wake of Fox's decision to punt on the press conference, the trade mag Broadcasting & Cable reported:
While pressers are the bread and butter of cable news, broadcast networks stand to lose millions in advertising revenue by shifting or rescheduling their normal programming.
The presser is going to cost them "millions" in lost revenue. Of course, the TV nets take in hundreds of millions of advertising annually while using the public airwaves for free, but we're supposed to feel bad about tonight's preemption. Here's the context though, in terms of the "millions" in ad revenue that execs claim are being lost thanks to Obama's interruption. (An argument, btw, that we don't buy.)
Fox is part of News Corps., which last year posted $32 billion in revenues. ABC is owned by Disney, which enjoyed $37 billion in revenues. CBS's parent company, meanwhile, took in $14 billion. And of course, NBC is owned by corporate behemoth General Electric, which last year produced $183 billion in revenue.
Combined, the nets' parent companies generated more than $250 billion in revenues last year, but TV execs are whining about a couple million that might or might--might--be lost while broadcasting the White House press conference.
Not sure that pity party is going to get many takers.