In ancient times, news programs were required to provide equal access to their airwaves to conflicting perspectives on the political spectrum.
That ended in 1985 when the Reagan administration’s Federal Communications Commission ruled that the policy violated the 1st Amendment that TV networks had no right to speak in an early demonstration of the 2010 Supreme Court decision that corporations were also people. .
It is the abandonment of this Fair Doctrine that has led to our situation today, where Fox News feel free to ignore this contractual mandate to provide a news channel on cable systems across the country and instead release political propaganda endlessly 24 hours a day, seven days a week without the leaven of any meaningful point of view.
Today, responding to a recent statement from Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch Fox News will act as “loyal opposition” to the Biden administration, Matt Walton, a former GOP candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates who worked on The Lincoln Project, calls an editorial for Business Insider for the network to be reclassified from a news organization to instead be considered as a political organization.
While it may not seem like a variation will make a huge difference to the pollution information that the company regularly disseminates, in fact, it will create huge problems for Fox News business model.
Like the most successful cable and satellite distributing TV channels, Fox News there are dual revenue streams.
Part of its revenues came from the sale of network advertising, an increasingly difficult to sell for a network as a cry for the boycotting of channel advertisers grows with every excessive statement from its controversial opinion and understands. head in question.
Another large portion of its revenue stream, however, came from affiliate carriage fees paid by cable and satellite systems for the right to carry the channel and its program.
TV industry experts estimate that Fox News earns about $ 2 per month per subscriber from affiliate carriage fees that are paid whether any given individual subscriber is actually watching the channel or not.
It generates nearly $ 1.8 billion per year in revenue for the network and forms an integral part of their operating capital that helps maintain the lights in the studios as well as providing for the heavy salaries of their on- air “talent,” according to Walton.
Reclassification Fox News as a political organization, on the other hand, the business model equation will change significantly.
According to Business Insider:
“If Fox News properly considered a political operation, the charges they collect can be considered political contributions, contributions you would make if you had even a basic cable package. It’s okay for a media organization to have opinion programs, but in the CEO’s own words, Fox News is no longer interested in being a media outlet, but the honest political opposition to the current administration. “
“The goal of any media organization is to investigate and hold people, businesses, and government accountable and accountable for their actions and decisions. Fox News is no longer interested in providing unbiased reporting based on facts because it sees itself as a staunch political opponent of the Biden Administration. We didn’t long rely on their “reporting” as a news source because of this assignment from Murdoch. “
“When a political entity wants to get its message out on TV with political commercials, they have to pay to get that message out. Fox News must be held to the same financial standards as any political candidate, party, or third party political organization and pay for its content to be aired. “
Going to earn $ 1.8 billion per year from your program up to paying for the right to be seen by viewers will put a severe damper on the network’s business operations and profitability profile.
Moreover, the risk of Fox News may also be dangerous to land by some TV providers because their carriage contracts may specify that the program they broadcast falls within the news category instead. that extremist right-wing political opinion and sloganeering whose content is largely composed these days, giving providers a legitimate reason to cancel or at least re-negotiate those deals.
The potential loss of a substantial portion of its revenue stream would exacerbate the threat of a $ 1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed against Fox News by Dominion Voting Systems for launching “a false story of election fraud to serve its own trading purposes, which seriously hurt Dominion in the process.”
If Fox News is forced to re -identify as a political organization it has been operating for at least the past decade, it is also obligated to follow the political advertisement disclaimer rules requiring a “clear and obvious” rejection in all of their programs stating that “what is broadcast is for political purposes and is paid for by the political entity of Fox News.”
“Finally, as a political entity, Fox News should rely on donors to pay for its program rather than paid TV subscribers through carriage fees. Moreover, they should no longer be allowed to charge companies for ads.Fox News must follow applicable reporting rules and regulations from the Federal Election Commission about who their donors are, so that American citizens know who is paying to support the political activism of their network, ”Walton wrote.
That such a radical manifesto was pushed by a nominal Republican, even an insensitive Trump who deserves to be a former member of John Kasich’s 2016 presidential campaign leadership team, is surprising, but it’s a solutions to help restore truth to American news. program while ensuring that the truth on packing laws extends to the broadcast of our nation’s diet as well as to our grocery shelves.
As Walton concludes in his editorial, “it’s time for America to cut the cord on Fox News and let it try to thrive as a stand alone political entity.”
Original reporting by Matt Walton of Business Insider.
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