On CNN's Reliable Sources, Angelo Carusone explains why advertisers are leaving Sean Hannity

Media Matters President Carusone: “They're making a business decision and that business decision is to avoid Sean Hannity's volatility”

From the November 19 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources:

BRIAN STELTER (HOST): Angelo, what's the status of this ad boycott? You announced it seveal months ago. Have you succeeded in peeling off any advertisers?

ANGELO CARUSONE: Yes, definitely. We have statements from 30 companies that have committed that they're not going to advertise on Sean Hannity's program.

STELTER: But were they advertising to begin with?

CARUSONE: All of those companies were actually advertising to begin with. And then there are many more companies that never started in the first place because they say, “This is too volatile, there's too much potential controversy associated with it.” And I think we've already seen the financial effects. In September alone, even before the latest flare up, Fox News' ad revenue was down 17 percent, which is rather atypical for the market as a whole. And it very much dovetails with the massive exodus of advertisers in the first wave in August.

STELTER: Hannity says he's against any ad boycott. Why do you think it's appropriate to try to take away any commentator's advertisers?

CARUSONE: I don't like it at all.

STELTER: Then why are you doing it?

CARUSONE: Well, because I think at some point you are forced to do it, right? Most commentators work for a company and those companies have guidelines and policies and procedures that they enforce and police themselves. They have their own commentators adhere to a standard. No other network would let their personalities go out there and do the kinds of destructive and reckless things that Sean Hannity does. But when you're faced with an entity that doesn't have any accountability, you have two choices: Do nothing and continue to endure the destructive consequences of it or appeal to a higher power. In this case, it's the advertisers. And I would remind everybody, that that was required in the case of Bill O'Reilly. Fox News had re-signed his contract and had no intention, even knowing all the things thathe had done, of forcing him off the air. It need to be forced.


STELTER: You're a liberal group, do you fear that if this works Rachel Maddow's show and other liberal shows will be targeted? 

CARUSONE: I think that would be radically unfair, right? Because it isn't about his perspective or ideology. I think that Tucker Carlson is gross. I find his content odious. But we're not leading an advertiser campaign against him, because I think part of this -- and I would remind everybody that, Media Matters isn't out there smashing Keurigs. And we're calling for boycotts of these companies, mostly because it's not necessary. A lot of times all we have to do is talk to them and show them what it is that their advertisements are running alongside of and they're making a business decision and that business decision is to avoid Sean Hannity's volatility. And that was reflected in this weekend. They just don't want it. There are advertisers that left in August and when the Keurig thing flared up, came back and said you were right. 


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