“Think as I think,” said a man, “or you are abominably wicked; you are a toad.” And after I thought of it, I said, “I will, then, be a toad.” ― Stephen Crane
Saturday, August 6, 2016
The Fall of the House of Murdoch!
Fox Faces Its Uncertain Future: The Minor Murdochs Take Command
By Stephen K Bannon August 6, 2016
Here’s an interesting headline for you: “Fox seeks to extend cable news domination in post-Ailes era.” Recalling the storm that has engulfed Fox News—the Gretchen Carlson sex-harassment lawsuit and other allegations, including from Megyn “Eve Harrington” Kelly, that precipitated the sudden departure of founder Roger Ailes—one might immediately ask: Why this headline appearing in The Hill on July 31? Could Fox sources be getting a little bit nervous?
Here’s a data point that might help answer those questions: In the fierce competition that is cable news, Fox came in third last week, behind both CNN and MSNBC. Some will say, of course, that the decline is just a blip, because the big story last week was the Democratic National Convention, and the Fox audience wasn’t really interested.
Maybe that’s the explanation, but maybe not. The Republican nominee traditionally goes on vacation during the DNC; Donald Trump is anything but traditional—last week, he was all over the news. So there was plenty for Fox fans to watch, even if Hillary & Co. made them nauseous. And yet the Fox audience just wasn’t there; as TV Newser’s A.J. Katz points out, Fox fell relative to the 2008 Democratic convention—including in the key 25-54 demographic:
CNN had the most viewers, MSNBC was up the most, and only Fox News didn’t add viewers. The news demo was flat vs. 2008. CNN was most-watched (and was also the No. 1 cable news network of the month in the demo), MSNBC showed the most improvement, and Fox News saw a -17 percent decline.
Ouch! A 17 percent decline is, for sure, painful. So yes, this would seem to be a strange time to see a header, “Fox seeks to extend cable news domination.” The immediate response is, what domination?
It’s true, of course, that Fox has dominated cable news for the last 15 years, under the steady hand of Roger Ailes. Indeed, for all that time, with just a few exceptions, it’s been #1 in the ratings. But Ailes isn’t there anymore—he was fired last month in a rush-to-judgment hurry.
Without a doubt, Fox is a valuable asset. As the article in The Hill, written by savvy media analyst Joe Concha, noted:
Research firm SNL Kagan estimates Fox News generated $2.3 billion in ad sales alone last year. Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser says the operating profit for Fox News was $1.6 billion in fiscal 2015. That’s nearly 25 percent of 21st Century Fox’s overall operating profit.
Indeed, at a time when parent company 21st Century Fox is reeling from a string of movie disappointments and outright bombs—do you know anybody who saw the hugely expensive Independence Day: Resurgence?—this surely is a good time for 21CF chieftains to see a pick-me-up headline such as “Fox seeks to extend cable news domination.”
But here is the Breitbart News Rule #1 for headlines: It helps the story if the headline is true.
Obviously, in the past, Fox has done it all—in the past. It has covered the news, and it has created stars: Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren, and, more recently, Megyn Kelly—although her star, at least at Fox, is fading fast.
In addition, as everyone knows, Fox’s secret sauce has been “fair and balanced”—it was the one TV channel that right-of-center Americans trusted.
Yet nothing is permanent. As they say in sports, You’re only as good as your last game. And so, too, in TV: You’re only as good as your last show.
(You can read the rest of the article here at the link. Mostly it is a brag for the superiority of Breitbart and how they are the up and coming force in right of center media. Which may be true or it may not. There is definitely a vacuum developing. FOX has lost its mojo with a lot of viewers. It certainly has lost it with me. So there is an opportunity for someone to come in and steal their market share. Brietbart can provide that bones and somebody can come up with the money to spark off a new cable news operation. It could be Trump after the election if he loses. That would be a good fit. It could be another politically motivated big bucks patron. In fact if I was a big bucks kind of guy who wanted to influence politics that is the route I would go. Why buy a newspaper like the Amazon guy did? Buy a whole network. I bet they can steal some of FOX's stars and jump start a new network in days. I know that Hannity is going to be looking for a new gig after the election if Trump loses. You know the knives of the Murdoch kids will be out for him regardless of his ratings. He is too low class for them. Remember this is as much about class as it is about ideology. So he should look to make a soft landing. He could steal a few other big names and move over to a new base and take his audience with him. Same with O'Reilly if he moved. If you got the both of them you would be set. That is why they paid Ailes off with so much money. It was for the not compete clause. Nothing else.
I know that Fox has pretty much lost me. I like "The Five" and I will listen to Greta but after that I turn it off. O'Reilly is just too full of himself and Hannity is on too late for me. I would watch him if he was on earlier but at 10pm I am watching whatever I DVRed the night before. He needs the 8pm slot. If someone gives it to him they will clean up ratings wise. It will be interesting to see what happens.)