Ailes: Finding Demo Viewers Will Be “The Big Question In The Next Couple Years”

By Brian has published the full transcript of Roger Ailes‘ session at the TCA press tour. It’s a fun read: For example, he says CNN’s “great moment” was Angelina Jolie. Here’s an interesting exchange:

 QUESTION: Roger, I have a couple questions. One is about something that concerns a lot of us in our room, and that’s the aging of our audience. One of the areas in which your competition feels you might be vulnerable is in demographics where they point to your ratings and say that you tend to, particularly on primetime, load up on older viewers who are outside the demographic and that your lead over them in the key demographics that really drives revenue isn’t as great. Does that concern you?

ROGER AILES: It concerns me, but keep in mind the real numbers. The real numbers are 5- or 6-to-1 or 4-to-1 or whatever, and when you take the demo factor in, we are still 3-to-1 over them. So you can’t get killed jumping out of a basement window. We have more viewers, therefore, we can go down a little further when there’s a hit in the demos. I think what’s interesting is younger people are not turning to news, newspapers, television and what have you, and it’s interesting to see. You know, we also have some issues with Nielsen, which we are in debate over, because suddenly some of those people just got up. Nobody left. They just got up and gave their seats to their parents.

We don’t believe that happened any more than we think the local people made the thing happen with Fox Broadcasting. So I think that Nielsen is trying to sort — I think they’re sincerely trying to sort out some of these issues, and we’re in discussions with them now. All that said, younger people are becoming less interested in news; although they seem to be watching — going to websites and so on. Nobody knows quite what they’re picking up, but that’s going to be the big question for the next couple years probably for all of us.