A year ago, Fox News had a full boat.
Bill O’Reilly started off prime time, followed by newly promoted Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity bumped to 10pm. Greta was pushed back to 7pm and Shep only had 1 hour of himself. Over the next months, Kelly became a sore point with the Trump campaign. She eventually left for a bigger contract. Roger Ailes, who made FNC what it is, was fired for increasing claims of sexual harassment. Greta used an option in her contract that allowed her to leave if Ailes left Fox. She ended up on MSNBC. O’Reilly went on vacation yesterday amid his own sexual harassment scandal and may never be back. Now the top-rated Fox show is Tucker Carlson Tonight, a show that grabs headlines with tough interviews of soft liberals.
Also, Red Eye was canceled last week. One has to wonder if the Murdochs are cleaning house.
As bad as last year was, this may be the biggest shake up in Fox News history. O’Reilly is responsible for 20 hours a week of programming and he’s consistently gotten high ratings for 20 years. Tucker is doing well now, but Glenn Beck was a brief ratings powerhouse. In fact, Tucker led a show on CNN and one on MSNBC. Both eventually failed. Cramming pro-Trump programming into the schedule will work for now, but some of his supporters are already tiring of this White House and Fox’s First 100 Days program is almost past its time limit.
Originally, Rupert Murdoch wanted a Fox New channel and hired Roger Ailes because he knew how to program it. Ailes knew that there was an underserved market of conservatives who wanted news to at least be even-handed. Now that Ailes’ leadership has fallen apart, Murdoch’s sons are in charge. By all accounts, they are not conservative and the vision of Fox News may only last as long as liberal alternatives fail on the channel. Someday, there may be nothing else.