Perception of the Fox News Channel brand continues to be well below its historical levels with Republican consumers, seemingly hampered by the controversial departure of its chairman and chief executive Roger Ailes, the back to back party conventions, and its relationship with its core conservative constituency.
On July 26, News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch told Fox News Channel staff in a memo that “the power of our brand has never been stronger.”
Even looking at the general population and including all party affiliations, Fox News Channel has had a rocky ride since April 2015, well before the primary debates began. For the past 15 months, increasing amounts of Americans report hearing more negative than positive things about the network, a trend which is new to the channel.
In a another development, for the first time in more than three years, the general population’s perception of MSNBC has surpassed that of Fox News Channel, an occurrence that has taken place over the past week.
This past February, Fox News Channel fell to its lowest perception point with Republican-affiliated adults in more than three years after a sudden month-long drop. The bigger picture has shown a slow and steady decline.
Since hitting that February low mark, perception made some small gains but has struggled to return to its earlier loftier heights: levels are down one third from this past mid-January and by more than half from January 1, 2013.
To measure perception, YouGov BrandIndex used 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.
On January 1, 2013, Fox News Channel’s Buzz score with Republican-affiliated adults 18 and over was 49. One year ago, shortly before the first GOP debates, the Buzz score was 38. The big drop earlier this year started on January 18th, when Buzz score fell from 36 down to 14 one month later. The highest the score has come back was 26 at the end of June. Since then, the score has slid back down again to 21.