While Fox News continues to thrive amid a series of sexual harassment allegations and high-profile departures, veteran TV writer David Bauder writes in a piece for the AP that the channel appears to be at a crossroads.
“Ongoing lawsuits related to the conduct of [Roger] Ailes and others leaves a cloud over current management, on-air personnel changes have emboldened competition and there’s a nagging sense that the network’s creative center of gravity is missing,” Bauder writes. “Fox may never be as influential as it was when Ailes was building it into a powerhouse.”
Ailes, who oversaw Fox News from its creation in 1996 until his sudden ouster last July, died Thursday at age 77, as we reported previously.
“Seldom had a network so thoroughly reflected the vision and wishes of one man, whose belief that mainstream media tilted left led him to build a 24-hour news space where conservative viewers would find a comfortable home,” Bauder writes.
The piece notes that along with losing Ailes, FNC has lost three-fourths of its weeknight lineup since last summer, with the departures of Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren.
“Events outside of Fox’s control has made this precisely the wrong time to establish a new lineu,” Bauder writes. “The relentless run of bad news for Trump over the past few weeks has likely depressed Fox’s regular viewership, much like supporters of Hillary Clinton stayed away from television news for the month after her election loss.”