Donald Trump has been the best friend of this country’s media over the past five years (including the run up to the 2016 election). Now, I know that statement is going to get a lot of you probably shaking your heads or wondering if I’m having Irish Coffee (and a lot of it) this morning. But it’s true.
The media cares about one thing and one thing only. High ratings and also read that as high subscription rates or readers. That’s it. Because without high ratings, media can’t sell advertising. Without advertising, there isn’t enough scratch to employ more than a janitor or two. The wicked truth is, media doesn’t work if there aren’t people there to pay for it. And when you have the explosion of media that we’ve had over the past decade, most of it thanks to the internet, you have spread the available advertising dollars out pretty thin.
Now, take Donald Trump OUT of the equation. What are the media like CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and Washington Post going to be talking and writing about? Worse yet, are their viewers or readers going to want to tune in or subscribe to hear the Kumbaya messages that are going to be coming out of the Biden White House, especially if let’s say a recession hits? Of course not.
Put gently, the media are expecting a rather major decline in viewership and readership over the next four years. CNN and MSNBC are already planning for it. The Washington Post is trying to dig deeper in finding juicy salacious stories by hiring 1,000 new reporters! Can you imagine how long they are going to last if advertising and readership goes the way of the rest of the media? It’s a last gasp of a dying newspaper to try and resuscitate itself. And trust me…I’ve seen this happen hundreds of times…it won’t work.
Print is already a dead medium. And broadcast radio and television stations aren’t far behind. I’ve mentioned several times that streaming is the way of the future. Even cable companies have realized that people don’t want their telephone or television services any longer. They’re opting for their high-speed internet instead. And the cable news channels like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News know without a personality like Donald Trump, they are going to have a lot less to cover! It’s like taking Johnny Carson out of the Tonight Show and replacing him with Tommy Newsom (that will only make sense to you if you were at least 15 years old in 1990!)
So what does that mean for us “regular” folk? Pretty much you should get ready for a couple of things to happen. The loss of viewership and readership will mean a huge decline in ratings. That will in turn mean a loss of advertising revenue as advertisers flock to the internet and streaming. That means that not everyone is going to survive, so look for behemoths like CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC to look for suitors to buy them out or to merge with someone else. And no one can guess if they’ll still have the same political bent when the smoke clears. It’s coming…even Richard Wolffe, a former executive at MSNBC thinks so. He told thewrap.com, “The ratings are going to collapse. You don’t have to be a genius or an experienced executive to figure that out.” Just a matter of time!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!