CableFAX: 14. Mr. President? Roger Ailes
Title: President, Fox News Channel
Education: BA, U of OH
Why Him? In late October, just as the White House was inexplicably attacking Fox News, boosting buzz if not ratings for the fair and balanced network, word was that friends were urging Ailes to run for president in ’12. As The Nation’s John Nichols put it, "Ailes had enough of a sense of humor, and marketing, to let the talk swirl for a day." His ultimate answer was priceless: "I can’t afford the pay cut." Indeed, the former political strategist reportedly pulls down $8mln/year to captain the cable news ratings leader.
Polls Closed: While MSNBC posted strong ratings on Election Day ’09 (Nov 3), Fox News almost doubled its prime time numbers. Bill O’Reilly at 8pm added 1mln+ viewers, but later Sean Hannity (9pm) and Greta Van Susteren (10pm) added nearly 2mln each. CNN was down 12% in prime, while MSNBC and Fox were up 18% and 84%, respectively.
The Year Ahead:
Fox News will continue its ratings lead and its financials are strong, too. In Q1 its operating income rose 80% through increased affiliate revenue and lower political coverage costs.