The lawsuit and advertiser controversies surrounding prime time show host Bill O’Reilly sent Fox News Channel’s consumer perception down but not enough to be statistically significant.
As a matter of fact, Fox News Channel’s perception levels are already showing signs of recovery. While the advertisers who have pulled back on spending on the program may yet create a financial challenge for Fox, this crisis does not seem to have had a major impact on the network’s perception with consumers overall, despite all the attention given to it.
Fox News Channel dropped to the same perception level as February 1st, the end of an equivalent nine-day slide that began the day after Donald Trump’s Presidential inauguration ceremony.
The O’Reilly crisis and inauguration aftermath are not even Fox News Channel’s lowest perception marks recently: the network took a sharper and steeper perception hit in the 11 days that followed Election Day. And that decline was statistically significant.
Interestingly, there may have been a negative halo effect on the other cable news networks while the O’Reilly crisis played out last week. Both CNN and MSNBC took equal-sized drops since March 26th, although CNN is tracking significantly lower than MSNBC. And like Fox News Channel, the data indicates perception going back up.
YouGov BrandIndex measured consumer perception in this research with its Buzz score, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?"
A score can range from -100 to 100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position.
Buzz: Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN