The future of FOX News without Bill O’Reilly FOX News created a wonderful template, but the Murdoch brothers are tearing it apart.

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Apr 20, 2017 No Comments ›› admin

By Lynn Woolley

That is the subject of today’s Talking Points Memo.

There are five people on whom the future of FOX News now rides.

Two of them are the remaining prime-time stars – Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity. Sources say there is some worry at the upper levels of FOX that these two stars don’t need the network as much as the network needs them.

Bill O’Reilly

Then, there’s the younger, more left-leaning sons of 86-year-old Rupert Murdoch, James and Lachlan, who seem to have a burning desire to change FOX News into something more in tune with their more progressive views.

If Carlson and Hannity become unhappy with that new path, they could bolt. Imagine a future in which the Blaze or Newsmax TV is the new “fair and balanced” place to go for cable news.

The other “factor” if you will – is what will Bill O’Reilly do? That may determine if the FOX News cash cow dies.

A fourth Cable News Network may rise from the ashes.

I can tell you right now that if had the money, I would start a cable news network. Why? Because of the principle of “positioning.” That means what a company is – inside the minds of its consumers. You can use an easy way to determine “position” – simply fill in the banks.

(Name) is the cable network that_____________.

Yes; it’s that simple. Take a look:

• CNN is the cable nets network that has liberal anchors, hates Trump and has a boring primetime.
• MSNBC is the far-left cable network that is anchored by a woman that looks like a man.
• FOX News is the “fair & balanced” network that leans right and has a star-studded primetime lineup.

CNN and MSNBC are not changing. FOX News is.

The “fair & balanced” position and the “star-studded prime time” position may soon be up for grabs. The Blaze and Newsmax have to be salivating. The big companies – Disney, Comcast and CBS Corp have an amazing opportunity – but they are led by far-left management.

Just think: if you had, say, half a billion to spend right now – you could turn it into mass billions. Simple grab O’Reilly and sign him to a contract that specifies that he will behave to women –and then try to poach Carlson and Hannity. If you can get Martha McCallum and maybe even Greta Van Susteren, so much the better.

FOX News created a wonderful template, but the Murdoch brothers are tearing it apart. 

Rupert Murdoch, center, and his sons, Lachlan, left, and James Murdoch attend the Television Academy Hall of Fame in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (Photo: Dan Steinberg Invision/AP)

The “fair and balanced” position has been the top format for profitability over the past two decades. You may be thinking that FOX News will be very much the same without O’Reilly. I doubt it.

Rupert Murdoch is giving in to his sons. James and Lachlan think they can remake FOX as a profitable network and still be more like CNN.

It’s not going to happen.

If they succeed in the remake, look for the remaining stars to look for other opportunities.

Can you see a CNN-ified FOX News allowing Hannity to take it to the Democrats? Can you see the new FOX News being as pro Trump as it has been? And poor Tucker Carlson.

He has eclipsed Megyn Kelly’s ratings by inviting on liberals for the purpose of grilling them and making their left-wing positions look utterly stupid. He particularly likes to take on college professors.

I cannot see James and Lachlin allowing that kind of thing on their new, kind & gentler network.

Video: Angelo Carusone (Media Matters) on Bill O’Reilly’s firing from Fox News

Meanwhile. Bill O’Reilly is innocent until proven guilty – isn’t he?

Nope; sorry, but he’s not. O’Reilly has been brought down by the seriousness of the changes against him – and because Media Matters for America orchestrated a sponsor boycott. You will not read that in your local featurepaper. But what if O’Reilly isn’t the clod that CNN tells us he is?

Just imagine.

Like him or not, Glenn beck is a superstar. If he could bring O’Reilly over to the Blaze, and then poach Carlson and Hannity, he could be the new corporate king of cable. This can only happen if FOX News becomes just another CNN. But that seems to be what the Murdoch brothers are plotting.

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