After Offering Tucker Carlson a Job, Newsmax Creates Another Headache for Fox News to Deal With
Letting go of Tucker Carlson was probably the worst self-inflicted harm Fox News — or possibly any network — has ever experienced.
As Megyn Kelly noted this week, the network’s ratings have taken a nose dive since officials announced Fox was parting company with its tremendously popular host.
“These numbers are basement, toilet numbers, however you want to look at it,” Kelly said while reviewing the ratings for last Thursday, particularly Carlson’s 8 p.m. time slot.
To say it’s not going well for Fox News at 8 p.m. “is the understatement of the year,” she added.
But Fox News’ loss has been other conservative networks’ gain.
Take Newsmax, for example.
No less a powerhouse than the New York Times ran a story about the network last week, observing that “The niche conservative news channel is still small compared with Fox News, but its viewership has doubled and in some time slots even tripled since Tucker Carlson was dismissed.”
Times media correspondent Michael M. Grynbaum wrote that Newsmax “seized on Tucker Carlson’s shock dismissal from its rival network and declared itself the true TV home for right-wing Americans.”
“So far,” he added, “the strategy is showing some promise.”
One of Newsmax’s first actions, TMZ reported, was to offer Carlson the keys to the kingdom, with not only his own show, but control of the entire network’s programming.
If that ever happens, it’s not likely to take place anytime soon, as Carlson has been bombarded with similar offers from multiple sources, not to mention he still has yet to negotiate his release from his Fox contract.
In the meantime, as part of its strategy to capitalize on this recent stroke of good fortune, the network is reportedly making a move on some other Fox territory by launching a five-person panel program similar to Fox’s popular show “The Five,” Mediaite reported.
The show is scheduled to star Newsmax host Jenn Pellegrino and conservative radio host Chris Plante, a former CNN employee, plus three others.
It will air in the 9 p.m. time slot starting Monday, according to the report.
In a story titled, “Newsmax Looks to Copy Fox News Again While Gloating About Tucker,” The Daily Beast reported its Confider newsletter staff learned about the proposed programming change last week.
According to that report, Newsmax”preemptively” emailed a statement to the news outlet saying, “Newsmax is testing a number of shows, as we regularly do, and it would be a mistake to claim we are officially making any program changes at this time.”
It’s understandable that the network would be interested in replicating a show that Mediaite said “has been a smash hit on Fox News since its conception by Roger Ailes in 2011.”
“The Five” stars four regular conservative hosts: Greg Gutfeld, Dana Perino, Jesse Watters, Jeanine Pirro, plus a fifth slot shared by rotating liberal hosts Jessica Tarlov, Geraldo Rivera and Harold Ford Jr.
“‘The Five’ has emerged as one of the most-watched programs in cable news, frequently besting the ratings juggernauts in Fox News prime time,” the Mediaite report said.
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