Cable News–Fox News In Particular–Looks to Reap Rewards From Campaign and Issue Advertising

By Alex Weprin Comment

Advertising Age focuses its lens on how the upcoming 2012 election will benefit the cable news channels… particularly ratings leader Fox News. The article begins by noting a recent $ 1 million ad buy by the Rick Perry campaign, and wonders which other candidates or interest groups could follow:

“It’s grown pretty substantially, but that’s largely because of the issue ads,” said Paul Rittenberg, exec VP-advertising sales for both Fox News and Fox Business Network. “Any [groups] looking to spend nationally, clearly we’ll get a good share of the money.”

Like CNN, MSNBC and others, Fox News is set to benefit from the proliferation of third-party political and issue advocacy groups including Super PACs and 527s, which can afford national airtime and are gearing up to be major players in 2012 politics. Last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the so-called Citizens United case opened the floodgates by allowing mostly unfettered corporate and union spending in elections so long as it was not coordinated with candidates — giving rise to the Super PACs, which can accept unlimited corporate donations.

While Ad Age notes that FNC is clearly a place where Republican candidates and right-leaning issues groups are looking to have an impact, FNC executives argued that any sort of poltiical campaign or group should be advertising there:

“It’s not just Republicans,” Mr. Rittenberg said. “It’s a good investment for everybody who wants to reach the largest possible audience. These [advertisers] tend to come to Fox News first because of the size of the audience and their interest in politics.”

(h/t Johnny $)