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An Archaic Model Has Nearly Destroyed Morning TV

The archaic business model that has shaped morning TV for decades is now more consequential than the declining viewership numbers across dayside, evening, primetime, and late-night programming. In fact, the loss of morning TV viewership is the most pressing issue media executives face moving forward. Morning programs essentially fund the news divisions at ABC, NBC, and CBS. An internal sales presentation prepared for NBCUniversal revealed in the spring that Today brought in $408 million in advertising revenue in 2019. By contrast, NBC’s Nightly News and Meet the Press recorded $146 million and $26 million, respectively. Good Morning America, Today’s primary rival, averages around $375 million in ad-dollars per year. GMA makes up most of ABC’s broadcast news revenue. Over the past five years, Today and GMA have lost hundreds of thousands of viewers, struggling even to maintain their long-held market share dominance. But, as problematic as this is, it’s still going to get worse, possibly as soon as 2022. NBC and ABC have thus far managed to offset the losses they’ve sustained with Today and GMA by upping the charge for advertisers, a strategy experts view as effective but temporary. Dylan Byers reported recently that “major advertisers will eventually decide not to pay higher and higher costs to reach fewer and […]

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Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.