Which Cable News Anchor Had The Most Ad Revenue in September?

By A.J. Katz 

This may not come as a surprise, but overall cable news advertising revenue is down since the 2016 election.

So says the Standard Media Index which unveiled ad revenue figures for September 2017, as well as Q3 2017.

Across all cable news programs, revenue fell -7 percent compared to September 2016. But for the full quarter (July, August September) news programs were up +2 percent overall.


Fox News has taken the most significant hit with -17 percent less spend on news programming in September 2017 vs. September 2016. CNN also saw a small decrease, down -1 percent, while MSNBC was up +2 percent.

MSNBC’s prime time lineup also continues to see increased unit costs. The Rachel Maddow Show had an average unit cost of $4,600 in Sept. 2017 vs. $3,800 in Sept. 2016. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was at $3,700 this year, up from $3,100 last year. All in with Chris Hayes increased from $2,700 to $3,300.

Fox News still commands the highest per-unit cost. Tucker Carlson Tonight was at $12,200 a spot, and Hannity was at $8,500 in Sept. 2017. SMI found that last September those show were earning around $31,300 per spot which was due to the increased viewership around the election and the first 2016 presidential debate.