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Charlotte, NC — What’s going to happen to Fox News?
Since the election on November 3rd, it seems conservatives and Republicans have gradually looked elsewhere for their news and commentary. What’s more, it isn’t just those who are right and far right of center consumers of content that are pivoting. The individuals who appear on these networks seem to have noticed the shift, too.
Recently, The Hill reported that GOP lawmakers had appeared more frequently on Newsmax than they have in the past. Fox News was virtually the only conservative news outlet on which Republican leaders and lawmakers appeared up until recently.
According to The Hill, “President Trump openly feuds with Fox News, conservative lawmakers and loyal Trump officials have increasingly added Newsmax to their rotation of media stops, giving a sheen of credibility to the fledgling network as it seeks to complete for conservative viewers.”
No conservative outlet has or can rival Fox in terms of ratings, but it seems feasible that Newsmax could considerably close the gap over the next 36 months. Republican lawmakers told The Hill that the rise in popularity for Newsmax and other right-leaning news organizations had enticed them to appear more frequently on these other networks.
Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) stated that Trump’s feud with Fox contributed to his decision to look at smaller outlets. The Hill noted, “asked whether Trump’s criticism of Fox News is a factor for the small segment of Republicans considering the alternative networks, Harris replied: ‘It is for me.’”
This holds true for other GOP lawmakers. Newsmax anchor Sean Spicer and his co-host, Lyndsay Keith, recently interviewed newly-elected representatives August Pfluger and Tony Gonzales. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) still appears on Fox but has also made multiple appearances on Spicer’s show.
“Sean Spicer is well respected on Capitol Hill, and his show with Lyndsay is both substantive and widely viewed in Congress,” Banks told The Hill. “I enjoy doing it and get feedback from constituents when I do.”
From The Hill:
“Over one 24-hour period last week, Newsmax featured new interviews with Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.).
Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) stopped by to attack elected Republican officials in Georgia for not doing enough to root out fraud. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) hammered Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) for his office having been infiltrated by a Chinese spy. And Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) came on to blame Democrats for stalling COVID-19 relief efforts.”
Other Republican politicians have not yet appeared on Newsmax, but they seem to be taking notice of the trend. “I know back home people are watching Fox less and watching the other outlets,” a GOP lawmaker in the Midwest told The Hill.
However, Fox News remains the dominant right-leaning news outlet. It is the top-rated network in both daytime and primetime and has a dynamic and oft watched opinion hosts with Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham filling the 8:00 p.m. through 10:00 p.m hours.
Fox can book anyone it wants — including Trump, who sat for an interview with Fox & Friends last week, despite his criticism of the network. Fox’s popularity is declining in the wake of the election, but it still has a ways to go before it has to worry about competition from the likes of Newsmax and OANN.
Newsmax seems to be doing everything it can to capitalize on conservatives’ dissatisfaction with Fox. Reuters reported that “the network plans to hire more staff in the United States and London, debut a new primetime host and add more weekend programming to capitalize on post-election gains and some viewers’ discontent with Rupert Murdoch’s longtime ratings king Fox News.
Axios noted that Newsmax is making a push to snag some of Fox News’ talent. They reported that the company is “trying to lure away its vital booking agents with promises of higher salaries.”
Fox News might be the outlet of choice for most conservatives currently, but it is entirely possible that this is changing. Their handling of the election left a very bitter taste in the mouths of many Republicans across the country. It shouldn’t be a shocker to see them seek out other news sources given these issues. In fact, even their own talent has questioned their behavior. In fact, I wrote about Tucker smacking his own network in an epic monologue. You can find that article here.
It is highly unlikely Fox will fold, but it appears to be inevitable that its competitors will grow more popular and could pose a serious challenge to the network’s dominance.
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