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Fox News’ Friendly Offer

4/21/2006 8:00 PM Eastern

Fox News Channel is getting friendly with local advertising-sales executives. The cable-news leader is working with affiliates on its first national local ad sales promotion, tying in with morning program Fox & Friends.

The grand prize winner of the “Breakfast with Fox & Friends Sweepstakes,” running from May 1 to 21, will win a trip for two to New York. In addition to travel accommodations, the package includes two tickets to a Broadway show and culminates with an appearance on the program, most likely in June. First prize winners will receive a 20-inch LCD TV. Entrants log on at www.foxandfriends.com.

Fox & Friends has been a strong local-ad seller, but this promotion, along with the strength of the Fox News brand, gives affiliates an extra edge in the marketplace,” said John Malkin, vice president of affiliate marketing and local ad sales at Fox News Channel.

He said a total of 155 systems have signed up for the local promotion, including those owned by Adelphia Communications Corp., Charter Communications Corp., Insight Communications Co., Cox Communications Inc., Comcast Corp., Cablevision Systems Corp. and Time Warner Cable — reaching 24 million subscribers in 15 of the top 25 DMAs.

Malkin noted that the promotion is a way for affiliate systems to pursue ad budgets that might otherwise be earmarked for broadcast-TV stations, open the door to new categories or gain incremental revenue.

To that end, he reports that Insight in Indiana used the promotion as a means to secure a six-month contract with an RV dealership with multiple locations in the state.

Participating affiliates agreed to run 350 taggable spots, touting the sweepstakes or telling viewers to tune in over the three-week period.

Further, Fox News is supplying each major market with a 42-inch plasma screen and those in smaller markets with a 20-inch liquid crystal display set that operators can use with consumers, advertisers or as an internal incentive.

During the first quarter, Fox & Friends averaged 904,000 viewers weekdays from 7-9 a.m., according to Nielsen Media Research data, claiming a 46% share of audience when gauged against CNN’s American Morning and programs on MSNBC, CNN Headline News and CNBC in that time slot.

Malkin said Fox News is engaged in dialogue for its “next major promotion.”

September