In a jarring announcement, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch implied that the Biden administration would be better for Fox News than the Trump administration.
One would guess that President Trump might have something to say about that.
Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Tech, Media and Telecom conference Thursday, Murdoch said that rival network MSNBC was the “main beneficiary” of the presidency of Donald Trump. “They were the loyal opposition, and that’s what our job is now,” NBC and MSNBC media reporter Dylan Byers said in a tweet.
Murdoch isn’t necessarily saying he likes Biden’s policies – just that the opposition network can get a boost from a hostile presidency. Still, President Trump has long claimed that he was good for all the networks – including Fox, and Fox set viewership records during the Trump years.
“We don’t get emotional” about Fox News ratings, Murdoch said, according to Variety’s Brian Steinberg. The company expected a post-election ratings dip, which “happened exactly as we projected,” Murdoch reportedly said, adding that for MSNBC and CNN, the “spikes [in ratings] have come back down to earth.”
Fox was the most-watched cable news network in 2020, seeing its highest-rated year yet, but it also dropped in the ratings after the 2020 presidential election, while both CNN and MSNBC saw historic highs. However, since the start of the year, Fox’s ratings have started to make a comeback.
Murdoch also reaffirmed the network’s commitment to its audience. “Seventy-five million people voted for a Republican president, sometimes in spite of his personality at times … that’s what we represent. We’re going to stick to the center-right. That’s where our audience is,” Byers reported.
Fox may or may not survive the anger of its conservative base at its performance in the November 2020 elections. But Murdoch shouldn’t delude himself – every time the network empowers hacks like Chris Wallace, it loses fans. The future of Fox is conservative.