Pricey Pundits are ALL FIRMLY 1%

Why all commercials?

It’s what we have come to accept

You sit down to watch the news. Several talking heads discuss gun control, the fiscal cliff, or an issue of the day. Before the pundits have a chance to wet their whistle and make a point or counter point, the anchor breaks in to inform us of a commercial. What follows? Not one, not two, not three commercials – it can be five minutes later before the viewer is returned to the discussion. By that time, most of us have forgotten the subject and the point.

It wasn’t always like this. Once upon a time and not so long ago it was highly unusual for a programing break to extend through two back-to-back commercials. The the longer and longer breaks in programing has grown into a carnival side show that diminishes the programing. A cable television news show, which we already pay to view, has become little more than an infomercial with the news peppered in where it fits.

Try to find a breakdown of broadcast time vs. commercial time

I tried to do this for an entire morning only to find graphs, studies, and comparisons all based on the broadcast industry interests. You can find who is watching when and what during any given cycle, and who is gaining in viewers and who is losing – but it is nearly impossible to find a graph or study to reveal the balance of broadcast programing vs commercials.

One article from Documentary Org suggested that the lack of data is intentional.

Documentary license fee benchmarks used to be so hard to find. Perhaps the scarcity of information dates back to the clubby broadcast era, when the niche was comprised of public broadcasters in a handful of countries, and even fewer commercial networks. Now, factual television is a multi-billion-dollar, global industry. And the television sector’s underlying costs and commercial terms are still relatively closely held.

Documentary Org Magazine

Did you know how much top cable pundits make?

I expected that the anchors, pictured at the right, might be well in the $400,000 range and would expect a tax increase. They work hard. There life is full of deadlines and stress. Even so, aren’t you a bit flummoxed that their salaries are in the millions of dollars? Just look at the “Sale” tags that reveal the salaries. Do any of the pundits work 4 or 5 times harder than the President of the United States who pulls down $400,000 in chump change when compared to Bill O’Reilly who pulls down five times as much!

Bang for the buck?

The salaries of some top anchors at the right were gleaned from an article in the “Daily Beast” with a slightly different focus:

Cooper. Sawyer. Blitzer. They have multimillion-dollar contracts and perfect hair. But which newsmakers deliver the most bang for their boss’s bucks? To find out, The Daily Beast divided the individual salaries of some of the top talking heads by the number of viewers their shows bring in. The results might surprise you.

The Daily Beast

The point of the “Daily Beast” article was to show that Fox was spending much more on O’Reilly ($6.67 per viewer)to get nearly the same “bang for the buck” as MSNBC was getting with Chris Mathews ($6.23 per viewer)while ONLY paying him $5 million. (You can find a larger sampling of anchors and salaries at the “Daily Beast” link above).

But, what is the message to be drawn here? Cable pundits are paid 3 -5 times more than any government office holder including the President? Is silent acceptance of the role of corporate media and the control of politically messaging tilting democracy off balance? Will we allow commercial messages to grow unabated in programing that the we already pay for?

Even the Cable Networks are beginning to notice

Even though the rates advertisers pay have held up well, one sign of the pressures network executives are working under is the fact that more time is being devoted to selling products and less to broadcasting news. ABC now sells seven minutes of national spots during each nightly newscast, up from six in 1993. Take away the time devoted to local commercials and promotions, and there are only 20 minutes and 45 seconds left for news. On CBS, there are 21 minutes. And at NBC, the viewers get 15 seconds more, according to the American Association of Advertising.
Nieman Harvard Edu

Bill O’Reilly
“The O’Reilly Factor”
Network: Fox

MS O'Riellly TV
$
$
$
$

Chris Matthews
“Hardball with Chris Matthews”
Network: MSNBC

MS Mathews TV
$
$
$
$

Ed Schultz
“The Ed Show”
Network: MSNBC

MS Schultz TV
$
$
$
$

Joe Scarborough
“Morning Joe”
Network: MSNBC

MS scarboughow TV
$
$
$
$


Mika Brzezinski
“Morning Joe”
Network: MSNBC

MS Berzinski TV

Advertisements

One thought on “Pricey Pundits are ALL FIRMLY 1%

  1. Pingback: A Wealthy Welfare Queen lives near you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s