Fox News has reportedly started pushing guests not to appear on Newsmax as the upstart cable network has stolen some of its ratings thunder.
The policy: According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, some Fox News producers have been told not to invite back regular guests if they won’t stop appearing on Newsmax.
- Stelter, who cited anonymous sources at Fox News, did not say who was giving the orders to the producers.
Fox News hosts and producers used to laughed off the threat from Newsmax and One America News, another pro-Trump would-be rival, Stelter reported.
- “But the Fox staffers are not joking anymore,” he said. They’re now “on edge about the ratings race,” and it’s affecting their programming choices.
Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, said Fox News was committing an “anti-competitive violation” by trying to block guests.
- A Fox spokesperson said there was no directive about guest bookings.
What Stelter knows: Stelter recently wrote a book about Fox News’ “twisted” relationship with Trump, accusing the network of “promoting the President’s propaganda and radicalizing the American right.”
- Since election night, though, Trump and some of his supporters have turned against Fox News and cheered Newsmax’s rise.
- The prime-time ratings for Newsmax, which averaged 58,000 before Election Day, reached 1.1 million afterward for its top shows.
Newsmax has also attracted much of the mainstream media’s longstanding scorn for Fox News.
- In a Sunday profile New York Times profile, media columnist Ben Smith slammed Ruddy, a Trump confidante, for promoting the president’s “fantasy” that the election was stolen from him.
- “Perhaps he actually thinks his viewers are that dumb,” Smith wrote. “Or maybe he just needs them to stick around long enough for him to find someone just as cynical, but with more cash on hand, to buy him out.”