Report: Samantha Bee’s Low-Rated TBS Show Can’t Afford to Lose Another Advertiser

TV personality Samantha Bee attends OZY FEST 2017 Presented By at Rumsey Playfield on July 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Fusion Fest 2017)
Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Fusion Fest 2017

The fallout from Samantha Bee’s decision to call Ivanka Trump a “feckless c*nt” continues, as prominent advertisers Autotrader and State Farm pulled their ads from her show on Thursday — this presenting a particularly troubling development for Bee, whose ratings have plummeted from last year.

Despite an apology from the host of TBS’s Full Frontal, sponsor Autotrader and State Farm jumped ship from Bee’s show and the threat of additional departures remains real. While more successful shows with established personalities — such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham — can weather the storms of sudden sponsor loss, as the numbers below reveal, Samantha Bee is anything but successful.

According to The Wrap:

Year-to-date, Bee’s Nielsen ratings are down 34 percent among adults ages 18-49, which is the demographic most-coveted by primetime advertisers. Isolating just millennials, a label assigned to adults ages 18-34, she’s shed a whopping 47 percent — or nearly half — of her 2017 viewership.

In terms of total viewers, “Full Frontal” is down 29 percent year over year.

Those losses are really bad. They are also about the same when isolating Q2 2018 vs. Q2 2017 and the entire fall/spring season-to-date, so we won’t bog you down with too much data.

Bee’s employer — Turner Broadcasting Systems — took some of the blame for Bee’s crass attack on Ivanka Trump.

“Samantha Bee has taken the right action in apologizing for the vile and inappropriate language she used about Ivanka Trump last night. Those words should not have been aired. It was our mistake too, and we regret it,” the network said.

While standing in solidarity with Bee may suggest a desire to stick with their embattled host, business is business. Specifically, TBS’ business involving Bee has consisted of crashing ratings, declining cash flow from sponsors, and now, a firestorm of national controversy.

How long will the network endure the cost of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their host while receiving so little benefit in return?

The answer to that will reveal itself in coming weeks.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn


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