It’s got be tough in the news business when the tables are turned and all of a sudden the reporters become the news. Ask the New York Times and CNN how that feels…We’ve all been following the tribulations at Fox News, as scandal after scandal rocked the network, causing high-profile resignations and programming shake-ups.
Roger Ailes, Bill Shine, Greta van Susteren, Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly — now Charles Payne in the hot seat. And virtually a whole new prime time line-up to digest.Some people (including even Sean Hannity) predicted the worst for Fox News. Would viewers depart in droves?
The short answer? No.
While to be sure all cable news networks experienced a post-election drop-off, Fox News remains number one.Per the Wall Street Journal, The network finished the quarter that ended in June first in total prime-time viewers and first among those 25 to 54 years old, growing 21 percent in that key demographic compared with the year-earlier period, according to Nielsen. (Tucker) Carlson has proved a solid replacement for Mr. O’Reilly, at lower cost, and the round-table show “The Five” is up slightly in the ratings over Megyn Kelly’s “The Kelly File.” Ms. Kelly left for NBC early this year.
Still it’s not a slam dunk. MSNBC is enjoying strong ratings growth with viewership among the key 25 to 54 demographic up 72 percent versus the prior year – driven primarily by Rachel Maddow, whose show is now number one overall in cable in total viewers.Bret Baier, chief political anchor, said he would put his “blinders on” and try to shut out all the bad news around the channel. “I’m not going to tell you it didn’t affect us,” he said. Fortunately, he added, the political news kept coming like a “fire hose,” which made it easier to tune out the internal drama.
Inside Fox News, there is a hope that the drama and distractions are starting to fade.
“We’re all pretty much focusing on the very interesting show that’s happening in Washington rather than the show that is happening here at work,” Martha MacCallum said.And you have to admit, the show in Washington is unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
[This article was written by Michele Hickford, author of the brutally honest and bitingly funny Do I Need To Slap You?]