The cable news landscape has changed. MSNBC and CNN no longer give Trump and his rallies millions of dollars in free advertising.
A study from Media Matters added up how much free advertising each cable network has given Trump’s rallies since April 28:
— Media Matters (@mmfa) July 6, 2018
While it might be surprising that MSNBC has given more free advertising to Trump’s campaign events than CNN, the amount that they have given is tiny. (MSNBC viewers will argue that it should be zero, and they do have a valid point.) It is easy to see how CNN has earned Trump’s ire. After coming under withering criticism for going wall to wall every word that Trump said during the campaign, the network has cut off the free publicity for his rallies.
The free media has been shut off for Trump
Here is one statistic to show how dramatically things have changed. Before the Iowa caucuses, as part of their news coverage, MSNBC played a Trump ad 14 times in a 24 hour period in 2016. The free media value of this coverage was estimated at $100,000. In three months, Trump has only received $56,000 in promotion from the news coverage of his rallies.
Outside of Fox News, MSNBC and CNN have drastically cut the amount of coverage they are giving to Trump for free. The president’s rallies are now monitored for anything newsworthy, and increasingly are not covered live outside of Fox News. They have deemed Trump’s pep rallies not newsworthy, and have gone so far as to call some Trump White House events boring.
The free ride is over for Trump. All he has left are the few million Americans who watch Fox News, as the rest of the cable news competition has woken up and shut off Trump.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association