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Networks

Fox News Channel

FOXNews.com
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036

The Fox News Channel is an American cable and satellite news channel. It is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, and is a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. As of January 2005, it is available to 85 million households in the U.S. and to further viewers internationally, broadcasting primarily out of its New York City studios. In a 2006 poll conducted by Reuters and the BBC, 11 percent of Americans named Fox News as the most trusted news source, which is more than any other source in the U.S. including ABC (4 percent), NBC (4 percent) and CBS (3 percent).

The network was launched on October 7, 1996 to 17 million cable subscribers. The network slowly rose to prominence in the late 1990s as it started chipping away at the ratings of competitor CNN. As of 2005, Fox News' long-term viewer ratings exceed those of the two competing news channels, CNN and MSNBC, combined, in Nielsen points ratings, though CNN still outnumbers Fox News in the number of unique viewers (Nielsen cumulative ratings).

History

Rupert Murdoch established Fox News to counter a news media that he believed was predominantly liberal. News Corp had gained significant experience of rolling news when its BSkyB subsidiary started the Sky News channel in the United Kingdom in 1989.

In February 1996, after Roger Ailes (who would later become the president of Fox News) was relieved of duties at America's Talking, in preparation for conversion of the network to MSNBC, Murdoch called Ailes to start the network. A group of Ailes loyalists who followed him throughout the NBC empire joined him at Fox. From there, the CNBC expatriates, who joined a team already in place at Fox News, created the programming concept and proceeded to select space in New York. Ailes, often agitated and verbally abusive, worked individuals through five months of grueling 14-hour workdays and several weeks of rehearsal shows before launch, on October 7, 1996.

At launch, only ten million households were able to watch Fox News, with none in the major media markets of New York City and Los Angeles. According to published reports, many media reviewers had to watch the first day's programming at Fox News studios because it was not readily available. The rolling news coverage during the day consisted of 20-minute single topic shows like Fox on Crime or Fox on Politics surrounded by news headlines. Interviews had various interesting facts at the bottom of the screen about the topic or the guest. The flagship newscast at the time was called The Schneider Report, with Mike Schneider giving a fast paced delivery of the news. During the evening, Fox had opinion shows: The O'Reilly Factor (then called The O'Reilly Report), The Crier Report hosted by Catherine Crier, and Hannity & Colmes. From the beginning, FNC has also had a number of different slogans it included in daily broadcasts including: "America's Newsroom," "The Most Powerful Name in News," "Fox Means Business," "Fair and Balanced," "Fox is Where The News Is," and "We Report, You Decide."

From the beginning, Fox News has had a heavy emphasis on the visual presentation of news. Graphics were designed to be colorful and attention grabbing, and to allow people to get the main points of what was being said even if they couldn't hear the host, through the use of on-screen text summarizing the position of the interviewer or speaker, and "bullet points" when a host was giving commentary. One of these commentary sections has been criticized by Ofcom, the media regulator in the United Kingdom, where the Fox News Channel is broadcast on Sky Digital Satellite. Ofcom said John Gibson's commentary on January 28 2004 breached three sections of its Program Code (respect for truth, opportunity to take part and personal view programs - opinions expressed must not rest upon false evidence).

Fox News also created the "Fox News Alert," which interrupted regular programming when a breaking news story occurred. Each News Alert was designed to be attention-catching with a swooshing graphic filling the screen and a piercing chime instead of the regular news music. At the beginning of FNC, the Fox News Alert was used fairly rarely, giving the chime more cachet, but currently it is used regularly to announce scheduled events or repeat existing news instead of only breaking news stories, with Fox News Alerts sometimes several times each hour instead of just a few times a day.

Fox News was also the first network to put up the American flag after the September 11, 2001 attacks, a feature in the upper left-hand corner that has persisted to this day.

To accelerate its adoption by cable companies, Fox News paid systems up to $11 per subscriber to distribute the network. This contrasted with the normal practice, in which cable operators paid stations carriage fees for the programming of channels. When Time Warner bought out Ted Turner's Turner Broadcasting, a federal antitrust consent decree required Time Warner to carry a second all-news channel in addition to Time Warner's own CNN. Time Warner selected MSNBC as the secondary news network, instead of Fox News. Fox News claimed that this violated an agreement to carry Fox News, and Ailes used his connections to persuade Mayor Giuliani to carry Fox News and Bloomberg Television on two underutilized city-owned cable channels, which he did.

New York City also threatened to revoke Time Warner's cable franchise for not carrying Fox News.

A lawsuit was filed by Time Warner against the City of New York claiming undue interference and for inappropriate use of the city's educational channels for commercial programming. News Corporation countered with an antitrust lawsuit against Time Warner for unfairly protecting CNN. This led to an acrimonious battle between Murdoch and Turner, with Turner publicly comparing Murdoch to Adolf Hitler while Murdoch's New York Post ran an editorial questioning Turner's sanity. Giuliani's motives were also questioned, as his then-wife was a producer at Murdoch-owned WNYW-TV. In the end, Time Warner and News Corporation signed a settlement agreement to permit Fox News to be carried on New York City cable system beginning in October 1997, and to all of Time Warner's cable systems by 2001, though Time Warner still does not carry Fox News in all areas. In return, Time Warner was given some rights to News Corporation's satellites in Asia and Europe to distribute Time Warner programming, would receive the normal compensation per subscriber paid to cable operators, and News Corporation would not object to Atlanta Braves baseball games being carried on TBS (which normally would not happen because of the Fox television network's contract with Major League Baseball).

Management

The CEO, Chairman, and President of Fox News is Roger Ailes. After he began his career in broadcasting, Ailes started Ailes Communications, Inc and was successful as a political strategist for Presidents Nixon and Reagan and with producing campaign TV commercials (the Willie Horton ad is a notable example) for Republican political candidates. His work for former President Richard M. Nixon was chronicled in the book The Selling of the President: 1968 by Joe McGinniss. Ailes withdrew from consulting and returned to broadcasting in 1992, including Rush Limbaugh's television program during 1992-1996. He ran the CNBC channel and America's Talking, the forerunner of MSNBC for NBC. More recently, Ailes was named Broadcaster of the Year by Broadcast and Cable Magazine in 2003.

Fox News Radio

In 2003, Fox News began syndicating one minute radio updates to radio stations. On June 1, 2005, Fox News Radio expanded to a full service news operation, employing sixty people and providing five minute newscasts at the top of the hour and one minute newscast at the bottom of the hour. Fox News Radio is hosted by both FNC television personalities and others working solely for radio. At its launch, sixty stations participated in the network, with more joining under a deal struck between Fox and Clear Channel Communications converting many Clear Channel stations to carry Fox News Radio newscasts and allow Fox News Radio to use news content produced by Clear Channel and distribute it nationally.

Fox also produces Fox News Talk for both satellite radio services, with talk radio programs syndicated by and featuring Fox News personalities.

Fox News Channel personalities on radio

Fox News Radio also syndicates radio programs hosted by its TV personalities. (All times Eastern.)

* Brian and the Judge with Judge Andrew Napolitano and Brian Kilmeade: 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
* The John Gibson Show: 6:00–9:00 p.m.
* The Alan Colmes Show: 10:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m.

Two other radio programs hosted by Fox News Channel personalities are distributed by other companies. The Radio Factor hosted by Bill O'Reilly is syndicated separately by CBS-owned Westwood One (the show began in 2002); however, satellite rights are held by Fox News Talk. The talk radio program hosted by FNC's Sean Hannity is syndicated by ABC Radio (show started in 2001). Both were grandfathered, as their shows began before Fox News Radio.

Aside from Hannity, the Fox News Channel radio hosts also appear on the Fox News Talk satellite radio channel, along with the satellite-only program Fox Across America hosted by Spencer Hughes. Hannity's program, The Sean Hannity Show, appears on the ABC News & Talk satellite channel.

Personalities

* Alicia Acuna
* Jim Angle
* David Asman
* Rudi Bakhtiar
* Julie Banderas
* Fred Barnes
* Bret Baier
* Lisa Bernhard
* Steve Brown
* Patti Ann Browne
* Greg Burke
* Eric Burns
* Brenda Buttner
* Gretchen Carlson
* Alisyn Camerota
* Carl Cameron
* Neil Cavuto
* Steve Centanni
* Kiran Chetry
* Jamie Colby
* Alan Colmes
* Todd Connor
* Claudia Cowan
* Janice Dean
* Laurie Dhue
* Steve Doocy
* Mike Emanuel
* Harris Faulkner
* Donna Fiducia
* Trace Gallagher
* Major Garrett
* John Gibson
* Jeff Goldblatt
* Wendell Goler
* Rebecca Gomez
* Lauren Green
* Jennifer Griffin
* Kimberly Guilfoyle
* Sean Hannity
* Steve Harrigan
* Bill Hemmer
* Molly Henneberg
* Catherine Herridge
* E.D. Hill
* Page Hopkins
* Adam Housley
* Juliet Huddy
* Brit Hume
* Jonathan Hunt
* Carol Iovanna
* Gregg Jarrett
* Mike Jerrick
* John Kasich
* Terry Keenan
* Amy Kellogg
* Greg Kelly
* Megyn Kendall
* Brian Kilmeade
* Julie Kirtz
* Chris Knowles
* Mort Kondracke
* Rick Leventhal
* Dana Lewis
* Molly Line
* Martha MacCallum
* Bill McCuddy
* Dagen McDowell
* Kim McIntyre
* Carol McKinley
* David Lee Miller
* Andrew Napolitano
* Oliver North
* Bill O'Reilly
* Greg Palkot
* Uma Pemmaraju
* Brigitte Quinn
* Geraldo Rivera
* James Rosen
* Orlando Salinas
* Jon Scott
* Bob Sellers
* Jonathan Serrie
* Eric Shawn
* Marianne Silber
* Jane Skinner
* Shepard Smith
* Andrew Stack
* David Folk Thomas
* Mike Tobin
* Greta Van Susteren
* Stuart Varney
* Linda Vester
* Anita Vogel
* Chris Wallace
* Brian Wilson
* Kelly Wright

Regular guests & contributors

* Dr. Manny Alvarez
* Michael Baden
* Tiki Barber
* Bob Beckel
* Scott Bleier
* Wesley Clark
* Eleanor Clift
* David Corn
* Ann Coulter
* Susan Estrich
* Geraldine Ferraro
* Noah Frances
* Neal Gabler
* Newt Gingrich
* John Gray
* Jane Hall
* Ellis Henican
* Jonathan Hoenig
* Ann Hughes
* Mansoor Ijaz
* Alireza Jafarzadeh
* Marvin Kalb
* Gary Kaltbaum
* Charles Krauthammer
* William Kristol
* Mara Liasson
* Rich Lowry
* Michelle Malkin
* Dick Morris
* Jonathan Morris
* Mancow Muller
* Robert Novak
* Charles Payne
* Jim Pinkerton
* Ellen Ratner
* Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld
* Michael Reagan
* Gary B. Smith
* Tobin Smith
* Liz Trotta
* Cal Thomas
* Lis Wiehl
* Juan Williams
* Dr. Georgia Witkin

Former personalities

* Dari Alexander (now at WNYW)
* Rita Cosby (now at MSNBC)
* Catherine Crier (now at Court TV)
* Matt Drudge
* Jon Du Pre
* Jennifer Eccleston (now at CNN)
* Rick Folbaum (now at WNYW)
* Kit Hoover (now at TV Guide Channel)
* Dennis Miller
* Heather Nauert (now at ABC News)
* Judith Regan (former host of weekend late night show, Judith Regan Tonight)
* Pat Sajak (game show host, had short-lived interview show, Pat Sajak Weekend)
* David Shuster (now at MSNBC)
* Tony Snow (now White House Press Secretary)
* Paula Zahn (now at CNN)

Ratings

Fox News currently leads the cable news market, earning higher points ratings than its chief competitors CNN and MSNBC combined by average viewership. Measured by unique viewers, however, CNN achieves 11% higher ratings than Fox News. Many commentators attribute this to Fox's somewhat longer duration "talk" programs interspersed with news updates which cause viewers to tune in for longer periods as compared to CNN's generally shorter news segments. Others claim that Fox News garners more loyal fans than CNN, MSNBC, and others due to being the sole network that openly appeals to the attitudes and interests of conservatives.

The BBC reported that Fox News saw its profits double during the Iraq conflict, due in part to what the report called patriotic coverage of the war. By some reports, at the height of the conflict they enjoyed as much as a 300% increase in viewership, averaging 3.3 million viewers daily.

In 2004, the gain in ratings became more apparent. In September, Fox News Channel's ratings for its broadcast of the Republican National Convention beat those of all three broadcast networks. During President Bush's address, Fox News notched 7.3 million viewers nationally, while NBC, CBS, and ABC scored ratings of 5.9, 5.0, and 5.1, respectively.

However, starting in late 2005, Fox began to see a decline in the ratings. One of the most notable decline in ratings came in the second quarter of 2006, when compared to the previous quarter, Fox News had a loss in viewership for every single primetime program, however retained their lead in the market. One of the most noteworthy losses of viewership was that of Special Report with Brit Hume. The show's total viewership was down 19% compared to the previous quarter. However, several weeks later, in the wake of the North Korean Missle Crisis and Israel's fight with Lebanon, Fox saw a surge in viewership and managed to easily remain the #1 rated cable news channel. Fox still held eight of the ten most-watched nightly cable news shows, with The O'Reilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes coming in first and second places, respectively.

Controversies and allegations of bias

Since its inception, the network has been one of the most heavily-criticized of American media outlets, with critics usually alleging that it has a conservative bias, and, more recently, that it is slanted in favor of the George W. Bush administration. Outfoxed, a documentary by Robert Greenwald, is one example of this criticism. Critics also cite various polls which indicate a bias within Fox News. For other controversies and further details, please see Fox News Channel controversies and allegations of bias.

Trademark disputes

In the late 1990s, as Fox News reached most major cable markets, a handful of observers began to use the World Wide Web to mock FNC's putative bias, triggering the first publicly aired trademark disputes between Fox News and its critics. In late 2001, Faux News Channel.com created the "Faux" Fox News logo.

In 2003, Penguin Books published Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, by the liberal comedian and writer Al Franken. The book criticized many conservative individuals and institutions on grounds of inaccuracy; it included Fox News among the media outlets described as biased. Before the book was released, Fox brought a lawsuit, alleging that the book's subtitle violated Fox's trademark in the promotional phrase "Fair and Balanced." On that basis, Fox moved for a preliminary injunction to block the publication of the book. The United States District Court Judge hearing the case denied the motion, characterizing Fox's claim as "wholly without merit, both factually and legally." Fox then withdrew the suit.

In December 2003, the Independent Media Institute brought a petition before the United States Patent and Trademark Office seeking the cancellation of Fox's trademark in the phrase "Fair & Balanced" for being deceptively misdescriptive. After losing early procedural motions, the IMI withdrew its petition and the USPTO dismissed the case.


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