Did A&E Fire Phil Robertson to Boost Ratings?
Marketing is everything. You’ve heard the adage that that the only bad publicity is no publicity. Deep throat said, “Follow the Money.” The folks at A&E aren’t stupid. They know Duck Dynasty is a multi-million-dollar property. Would they throw that much money away to placate a segment of the population that does not watch the show?
How much do you want to bet that some smart marketing guy came to the uppity-ups at A&E and said something like this:
“Let’s fire Phil Robertson. We’re all agreed. But let’s do it to make even more money. Let me explain.
“You’ve got a gold mine here. Duck Dynasty is your highest rated show. It’s making you tens of millions of dollars. Do you want to throw all that money away to satisfy a small group of people who probably never heard of Duck Dynasty until two days ago?
“Have you seen the audience reaction? These fans are pulling for this Phil Robertson guy and all the other Duckers. Get on the gravy train. There’s money to be made.
“The blogosphere is going crazy for this bearded patriarch. Whatever they’re selling, you better have it in stock.
“You’ve got another problem on your hands with the openly homosexual A&E stars Chris Morelli and Tad Eaton who just said “man ass beats vagina any day of the week.” Are you going to fire these guys too?
Someone at the table asks a question: “What about GLAAD and other pro-homosexual groups?”
“Let me run the numbers for you. Actually, it’s one number: 14 million viewers! Let that sink in. Do you remember Chick-fil-A? Did the controversy hurt or help the billion-dollar franchise? The stores’ parking lots were filled and the customers were wrapped around the buildings. No more controversy, but lots more money.
“How about Rush Limbaugh and the Flake woman? Limbaugh is more popular than ever. He’s written a book that’s on the best seller list.
“I’ll stake my job on it. If you bring Phil back, apologize, and admit you made a mistake for criticizing the man’s personal beliefs, Duck Dynasty viewership will go through the roof, and you’ll all make more money. It is all about the money, isn’t it?
“You really don’t give a tinker’s dam about what the folks at GLAAD think as long as you’re getting a good size paycheck.
“Mark my word. For these guys, it’s not about the money. They’ll walk, and you’ll be digging yourself out of a deep financial hole that other people forced you to dig. GLAAD isn’t taking any risks. They’re not going to lose any money over this. You’ll be the ones left holding the bag – and it will be empty.”
Maybe this was A&E’s plan all along. Maybe they’re smarter than we think. Nah.