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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Whither Fox News

For John, BLUFJust goes to show that great men are not necessarily nice men (substitute women as appropriate).  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The American Thinker, 19 May 2017, by Reporter Peter Barry Chowka.

Rober Ailes is not just out of Fox News, he is gone, having passed away just a few short days ago.

The question is, what is the impact on Fox News of Mr Ailes being thrown under the bus by the sons of Rupert Murdock, who want to be liked by the other kids?  And, more important, really, is where is that, for lack of a better term, Conservative audience, going to go?

This is a long article, of which these are just the first four paragraphs:

The sudden death of Roger Ailes (R.I.P.) yesterday is a grim omen for the network he envisioned and built.  In the wake of the recent upheavals at Fox News, the conservative cable television network’s ratings are experiencing a precipitous decline from cable news leadership for the first time in the history of the channel.  As the rest of the mainstream media continue their efforts to undermine and “resist” the Trump Administration, this development bodes ill for the future — not only of the unique kind of fair and balanced if right of center reporting pioneered by the Fox News Channel (FNC), but of the prospects for conservatives continuing to have a major media platform, maintain power, and advance their agenda in the months and years ahead.

The Fox News Channel launched on October 6, 1996.  MSNBC, originally a collaboration between NBC News and Microsoft, had started three months earlier.  Prior to mid-1996, CNN, the other competitor, was the exclusive cable news outlet in the United States, synonymous with “cable news.”  It enjoyed a long monopoly in the field during which it was able to build its brand at home and abroad.

Lacking the backing of a huge well oiled news organzation like NBC or the tailwind legacy of a sixteen year international presence like CNN, FNC initially had a bit of a shaky start.  But under the guidance of media and political genius Roger Ailes (the FNC CEO and Chairman), the financial support of international media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and with a clear agenda (“fair and balanced” reporting with a consistent respect for conservative viewpoints), after gaining wide cable and satellite distribution, Fox pulled ahead of its two rivals.  By 2002, FNC had done the unthinkable, establishing itself as the #1 cable news channel in the United States.  Notwithstanding its being constantly derided by the rest of the mainstream media, Fox News’s prime time ratings dominance went largely unchallenged for the next fourteen years.

The Fox News Channel’s innovative and successful approach to presenting the news in the new millennium helped to change the TV news landscape from one dominated by breaking hard news read by mostly interchangeable news readers to a model that relied on opinionated marquee personalities and colorful left/right debate.  Prime time personalities Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, for example, both of whom debuted on FNC the night that it started, continued to host programs in prime time, seemingly in perpetuity. CNN’s “breaking news is king” strategy, and its aging prime time host Larry King, were caught off guard.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Per The American Thinker, Peter Barry Chowka is a seasoned journalist who writes about national politics, media, popular culture, and health care.
  Or will they just retreat further into the Internet?  Will Drudge or Breitbart emerge as the new news leadership.

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