TV Shows That Advertisers Avoid Because They Generate Both Strong Ratings and Controversies Are Said to Be ‘Empty Calories’

empty calories Refers to broadcast programming that draws great ratings but is so controversial or outrageous that advertisers avoid it. Usage: From Being Glenn Beck in the New York Times: “…As of Sept. 21, 296 advertisers have asked that their commercials not be shown on Beck’s show (up from 26 in August 2009). Fox also has a difficult time selling ads on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ and ‘Fox and Friends’ when Beck appears on those shows as a guest. Beck’s show is known in the TV sales world as ‘empty calories,’ meaning he draws great ratings but is toxic for ad sales.”


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