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Fox News and CNN Prepare for Life Without Trump and Pay TV – 05/03/2021 – Nelson de Sá

Amateur transmission, with drooping image, improvised lighting, without costume, with sleep.

This is how two of America’s top television executives, Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox Corporation (Fox News), and Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia (CNN, HBO), charted the future of industry at a press conference at Morgan Stanley. Bank.

Speaking of separate hours, they’ve agreed on a lot of things. For example, on the positive impact of Covid.

These are companies that depend on pay television, which was already declining subscribers and which had just been threatened by the defeat of Donald Trump, a gimmick of viewers for five years.

“It turns out that the pandemic has been very good for the public, it’s a great partner for the information cycle and it won’t go away anytime soon,” said Kilar, who recently denied speculation that he could sell CNN.

“We are clearly seeing the value of live information throughout the pandemic,” said Murdoch, son of tycoon Rupert. “It has never been so obvious.”

Warner’s executive sentence, above all, was kind enough that he had to apologize after the interview. But the message was given: Both were relieved by the evidence that their chains don’t depend on Trump for survival.

Another point they agreed on, in addition to the resilience of live news, “live news”, was about sports broadcasting, “live sports”. These are the two priorities of the two for their linear channels, in what they expect to be a slow decline in pay television.

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A third and most important point of agreement concerns the digital future of Fox News and CNN, in addition to the respective websites, considered to be successful in the advertising arena. They didn’t detail what they were planning and couldn’t, but left clues.

“We need to make sure that more and more content is addressable, that a marketer can choose who they want to target,” Kilar said.

“The second thing we need to do is the version with ads for HBO Max,” he continued, of the streaming platform. “This will be a fantastic opportunity for marketers to surgically reach fans with their posts.”

Asked about the lack of content from Fox News and other streaming channels, Murdoch also responded indirectly.

“We are heading headlong into the direct-to-consumer world with the acquisition of Tubi,” he said of the streaming platform the group bought last year, which is being funded. through advertisements.

“We don’t want to compete on subscription video on demand. We believe that we can win in the video world through advertising. “

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Of all that was said at the Morgan Stanley conference, what resonated the most was a comment from Fox’s executive, ultimately admitting that the channel is not “fair and balanced,” its slogan until in 2017.

“We’re very focused on the center-right,” Murdoch said. “Seventy-five million voted for a Republican president, despite his personality. They have a strong feeling about these political positions. And that’s what we stand for. “

He promised “loyal opposition” to the Biden administration, like that made earlier by MSNBC, “the biggest beneficiary of the Trump administration, from a public perspective.” And he provoked: “You will see how our audience will grow in the next four years.”

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