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USAA Says It Will Return Ads to Fox News’ ‘Hannity’

Variety logo Variety 5/30/2017 Brian Steinberg
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Financial-services firm USAA said it will allow its ads to run again in Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” after pulling them out due to controversy surrounding the network’s popular anchor.

The San Antonio, Texas, company, which offers financial products and insurance to veterans and their families, indicated last week that it would take its commercials out of rotation in what it considered to be “opinion” shows on cable-news program in the wake of Hannity’s remarks.  A handful of smaller advertisers said they would cease advertising on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” after the program’s popular host, Sean Hannity, over several broadcasts promoted an unproven theory about the murder of a Democratic National Committee staffer, then said he would halt discussion of it for the time being out of concern for the victim’s family.

“We heard concerns from many members who watch and listen to these programs,” USAA said in a statement released on Tuesday. “Our goal in advertising has always been to reach members of the military community who would benefit from USAA’s well-known commitment to service. Today, the lines between news and editorial are increasingly blurred.”

Hannity was expected to return to his program Tuesday night after taking a vacation around the Memorial Day holiday.

Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, said his advocacy organization spurred more than 1,600 calls by protestors to USAA over the course of 48 hours.

“They did the right think in going back on that show,” Bozell said in a statement, “and so long as the other side isn’t participating in personal smears, they should participate on those shows, too.”

Cars.com, Leesa Sleep and Peloton are among other companies that indicated they would stop advertising on Fox News’ “Hannity.”

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