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Fox News Channel

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Fox News Channel
Image:FNC logo.png
Type Cable television network
Country United States United States
Availability United States and others; see "International transmission" section below for other availability
Slogan "We Report, You Decide";
"Fair and Balanced";
"The Most Powerful Name in News"
Owner News Corporation
Key people Roger Ailes, Chairman & CEO
Launch date October 7, 1996
Website www.foxnews.com

The Fox News Channel (FNC) 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.

The network was launched on October 7, 1996 [1] to 17 million cable subscribers under the guidance of Roger Ailes. The network slowly rose to prominence in the late 1990s as it started chipping away at the ratings of competitor CNN. In the United States, Fox News Channel is the top rated cable news channel.

The channel was created by Australian-American media magnate Rupert Murdoch, who hired Roger Ailes as its founding CEO. Fox News is seen by some critics and observers as advocating conservative political positions[2]. The channel denies allegations of bias in their news reporting.

Contents

[edit] History

Fox News Channel Iraq war coverage
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Fox News Channel Iraq war coverage

Rupert Murdoch established Fox News to fill what he saw as a niche in the market for news that, according to Murdoch, was "fair and balanced". In the opinion of Ken Auletta of The New Yorker, it was to counter a news media that Murdoch believed was predominantly liberal. A 2004 survey of journalists by the Project for Excellence in Journalism found that Fox was "the single news outlet that strikes most journalists as taking a particular ideological stance"[3], with 56% of National journalists citing Fox News as being especially conservative in its coverage of news[4]. Further research has shown that there is a correlation between the presence of the Fox News Channel in cable markets and increases in Republican votes in those markets.[5] Fox News has consistently denied any bias in their news reporting.

News Corp had gained significant experience of rolling news when its BSkyB subsidiary started Europe's first 24 hour news channel, Sky News, in the United Kingdom back in 1989.

In February 1996, after Roger Ailes was relieved of duties at America's Talking (now MSNBC), Murdoch called Ailes to start the Fox News Channel. 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 worked individuals through five months of grueling 14-hour workdays and several weeks of rehearsal shows before launch, on October 6, 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," "We Report, You Decide," and most recently, "We Put the World in Context."

Fox News Alert title card from 2006.
Fox News Alert title card from 2006.

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.

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. The network has also created modified versions of this alert, including a "Mideast Alert" and "Business Alert," to create a more subject-specific oriented alert. In fact, Your World with Neil Cavuto begins almost all of its broadcasts with a Fox News Alert, usually on the stock market changes of the 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.[6] 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).

[edit] 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 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.

[edit] Fox News Channel programming

Fox News presents a wide variety of programming, with up to 15 hours of live programming per day. Most of the programs are broadcast from Fox News headquarters in New York City with its street-side studios on Sixth Avenue in the west extension of Rockefeller Center. Audio simulcasts of the channel are aired on XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.

[edit] Current shows

[edit] Special programming

[edit] Previous programming

  • Fox Magazine with Laurie Dhue was a newsmagazine that focused around in-depth reports, but also news of the previous week
  • After Hours with Cal Thomas, a weekend talk show, focused around conversations with news makers and featured a weekly commentary by the host, named "Column One"
  • At Large with Geraldo Rivera, a weekend news/talk program
  • Sunday Best with Jane Skinner reviewed the previous week's stories and commentaries that appeared on the network
  • DaySide was a weekday news/talk program featuring a studio audience
  • Judith Regan Tonight, a weekend talk program
  • Pat Sajak Weekend, a weekend talk program
  • Fox News Now, the first program to air on the network, focused on all the news in only fifteen minutes
  • Only on Fox, a show featuring stories only FNC brought to its viewers that other networks didn't, hosted by Trace Gallagher
  • 212 with Brian Kilmeade, a show focusing on New York City
  • Hot Shots!, a compilation of videos from the Fox Report's "Across America" and "Around the World in 80 Seconds"
  • The Edge with Paula Zahn, a talk program that featured celebrities and politicians
  • The Schneider Report, FNC's original evening-news program, hosted by Mike Schneider
  • The Crier Report, a talk program that featured various personalities, hosted by Catherine Crier

[edit] Fox Network programming

Fox News Special Presentation title card for Fox News coverage on Fox.
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Fox News Special Presentation title card for Fox News coverage on Fox.

Fox News also produced several newsmagazine shows for its Fox affiliates including Fox Files and The Pulse, although both were cancelled after short runs due to poor ratings.

Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace currently airs on many Fox affiliates and is similar in format to other Sunday morning political discussion programs. Fox Network also produces certain live events for the Fox (such as the State of the Union), and national news segments to air on the local Fox affiliate's news programs.

Fox News and the Fox broadcast network is thought by news insiders to be using its new syndicated newsmagazine Geraldo at Large (which airs in prime slots on all of Fox's owned and operated stations) as a test run of rolling out a national newscast. Fox News chairman Roger Ailes is now also chairman of the Fox Television Stations division, and has been pushing for the network's O&Os to have a more uniform image and presentation in their newscasts.

In January of 2007, a yet unnamed morning show hosted by Fox News Channel's Juliet Huddy and Mike Jerrick (hosts of Dayside, formerly of Fox & Friends Weekend) will debut on all Fox-owned and -operated stations [4].

The originally announced plans for Fox's soon to be launched sister network, MyNetworkTV (which is also under Roger Ailes's control), included a Fox News-produced program, On Scene, which would have focused on crime-related stories. However, the network has subsequently decided to not air any non-telenovela programming. [5]

[edit] Fox News website

Fox News also boasts a website with a number of political columnists and weblogs. Fox News entertainment correspondent Mike Straka and Italian-American priest Jonathan Morris maintain their own weekly blogs. The following is an incomplete list of personalities that may appear regularly on Foxnews.com:

[edit] 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.

[edit] Fox News Channel personalities on radio

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

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.

[edit] Personalities

[edit] Regular guests and contributors

[edit] Former personalities

[edit] 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. [6] 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. [citation needed] Others claim that Fox News garners more loyal fans than CNN and MSNBC.

The BBC reported that Fox News saw its profits double during the Iraq conflict. 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.[7].

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 slight 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 but 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 Missile Crisis and Israel's fight with Lebanon, Fox saw a surge in viewership and managed to easily remain the #1 rated cable news channel.[8] [9] 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. .[10]

In July 2006, Fox had the 55 top rated episode telecasts on cable news. The first non-Fox show to appear on the list was number 56, Larry King Live [7].

In August 2006 figures were released showing that in the period August 2005 - August 2006, Fox news lost 28% of its prime-time viewers and 7% of its total day viewers. This loss in viewers occurred during a time where rival networks CNN and MSNBC gained 35% and 26% respectively in their total day viewers. [11]

[edit] Controversies and allegations of bias

See also: Media bias, Propaganda model, Media bias in the United States, and Advocacy journalism

Fox News has been the target of accusations that it promotes a particular point of view at the expense of neutrality.[12] These criticisms most commonly allege a conservative bias, and cite various polls which suggest a bias within Fox News. A prominent critic of Fox is the Democratic National Committee, which has labeled Fox News a "rightwing outlet".[13] After the 2006 Election, a memo written by high level Fox News Management, was 'revealed' which included instructions many claim slant the news against Democrats. [8]

These, and other issues, are addressed in the 2004 documentary about alleged bias in Fox News reporting, Outfoxed.

[edit] Internal Memos

As with many news sources, Fox News executives exert a degree of editorial control over the content of their daily reporting. In the case of Fox News, some of this control comes in the form of daily memos issued by Fox New's Vice President of News, John Moody. Critics of Fox News cite these memos as evidence of a conservative bias in Fox News reporting, and claim that information in these memos sometimes duplicates Republican talking points.[14]

Two days after the 2006 election, web blog The Huffington Post claimed to acquire a copy of a leaked internal memo that recommended: "... let's be on the lookout for any statements from the Iraqi insurgents, who must be thrilled at the prospect of a Dem-controlled congress."[15] Within hours of the memo's publication, Fox News anchor Martha McCallum went on-air with a report of Iraqi insurgents cheering the firing of Donald Rumsfeld and the results of the 2006 Congressional election.[16]

[edit] Trademark disputes

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 a number of persons and institutions, but singled out Fox on allegations of conservative bias. 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, causing Fox to withdraw 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 notoriously misdescriptive.[17] After losing early motions, the IMI withdrew its petition and the USPTO dismissed the case.[18]

[edit] International transmission

The channel is now available internationally, though its world programming is the same as its American programming, unlike CNN International, which airs regional programming that is largely independent of its U.S. broadcasts. In the United States, the channel is offered by many cable companies in their basic cable packages. Fox News is also carried by Sky Angel, a Christian-run group of TV and radio networks that offers mostly religious broadcasting.

[edit] United Kingdom

Fox News is also carried in the United Kingdom by the British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) satellite television network (Sky Digital), in which News Corporation holds a 38 percent stake. It is a sister channel to BSkyB's Sky News, which is more popular in the region. Fox News is usually broadcast as a VideoGuard encrypted channel but during major news stories it may be simulcast on Sky Active, which is free to air. A fault in certain Pace Micro Sky Digibox receivers, notably the DS-430N which was Sky's default issue for some years, has left them able to decrypt the channel with no active subscription card since March 1, 2006; although no reason is known as to why. As of September 2006 the channel has carried UK specific advertising, along with headlines and weather provided by Sky News between its breaks. These run under the brand of Fox News International.

[edit] Canada

On December 14, 2000, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved Fox News Canada on behalf of the Global Television Network, for broadcast in Canada. Fox News Canada was to be a domestic Canadian version of Fox News.[19] The channel, or specialty television service, was never implemented by Fox, and the deadline for commencement of the service expired on November 24, 2004. That same day, a similar licence was granted to Rogers Communications for "MSNBC Canada", which went to air in September, 2001. During this period, it was speculated by some that the station was being "banned in Canada". The CRTC's previous refusal to grant Fox News an outright license had been contested by some Canadians, as well as American fans of the channel, who believed the decision to be politically motivated. However, it is rare for any American cable network to be licensed in Canada, when there is an alternative Canadian station.

On November 18, 2004 the CRTC announced that a digital license would be granted to Fox News.[20] In its proposal, Fox News stated, with reference to Fox News Canada, that "Fox News does not intend to implement this service and therefore will not meet the extended deadline to commence operations."[21] On December 16, 2004, Rogers Communications became the first Canadian cable or satellite provider to broadcast Fox News, with other companies following suit within the next several weeks.

[edit] Scandinavia

In Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries, Fox News is broadcast on TV8 for some 16 hours a day, since 2003. Fox News Extra segments replace U.S. advertising. However, in September 2006, Fox News was replaced by German news channel Deutsche Welle. This change resulted in Fox News losing all of its coverage in Sweden.

[edit] Australia

In Australia Fox News Channel is broadcast on the three major Pay-TV providers, Austar, Optus Television and Foxtel. Foxtel is 25% owned by News Corporation, and the other two are just rebroadcasters of Foxtel content. The Australian syndication previously featured some local programming, including a John Laws current affairs programme in place of "Fox & Friends". Currently, it is a direct feed of the US broadcast.

[edit] Brazil

Since 2002 Fox News has been broadcast to Brazil, but the commercials are replaced with weather forecasts and their own Brazilian ads. It is broadcast by Sky (satellite operator, a joint-venture between News Corporation and Globosat) and in the digital packages of NET. (A cable television operator, a joint-venture between Telmex and Globopar.)

[edit] New Zealand

In New Zealand, Fox News is broadcast on Channel 57 of pay satellite operator SKY TV's digital platform. It is also broadcast terrestrially during the Prime network's nighttime shutdown period which is also simulcast on SKY.

[edit] Other countries

Countries where Fox News is provided
Enlarge
Countries where Fox News is provided

Fox News Channel is also carried in more than 40 countries. Although service to Japan stopped in the summer of 2003, it can still be seen on Americable (distributor for American bases),[22] Mediatti (Kadena Air Base),[23] and Pan Global TV Japan.[24].

[edit] Archive and licensing

Fox News Channel maintains an archive of most of its programs. This archive also handles the Fox Movietone newsreels. Licensing of the Fox News archive is handled by ITN Source, the archiving division of Independent Television News.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Roger Ailes: Statement before the Committee on Energy & Commerce (February 14, 2001) and American Public Media: News Archive for October 7, 1996
  2. ^ Project for Excellence in Journalism, State of the News Media 2006: An Annual Report on American Journalism.
  3. ^ Project for Excellence in Journalism, State of the News Media 2006: An Annual Report on American Journalism.
  4. ^ "Broadcast News". The New Yorker. Retrieved on November 29, 2005.
  5. ^ DellaVigna, Stefano & Ethan Kaplan (March 30, 2006). "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting" (PDF). March 30, 2006. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved on 9 October 2006.
  6. ^ "Time-Warner Cable channel list in Mt. Vernon, NY". Time Warner. Retrieved on March, 2006.
  7. ^ "War coverage lifts News Corp". The British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved on November 29, 2005.
  8. ^ FNC's 25-54 Prime "Downward Spiral", TV Newser
  9. ^ Cable TV : Content Analysis, The State of the News Media 2005
  10. ^ April 2005 Competitive Program Ranker (M-F 6a-11p programs), TV Newser
  11. ^ http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/ratings/aug_s_total_viewers_vs_aug_2005_42895.asp
  12. ^ Timothy Noah, Fox News admits bias!, Slate, 31 May 2005, accessed 26 September 2006
  13. ^ Byron York, Bill Clinton, fighting the enemy - right-wing bullies, National Review Online, 24 September 2006, accessed 27 September 2006
  14. ^ [1], Excerpts from official released Fox News memos
  15. ^ [2], Internal Fox Memo
  16. ^ [3], MSNBC interview about the leaked internal Fox memo
  17. ^ Independent Media Institute vs. Fox News Channel on Cancellation of "Fair & Balanced" trademark phrase, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System
  18. ^ Official Documentation of Petitioned Cancellation of "Fair & Balanced" trademark phrase, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System
  19. ^ Decision CRTC 2000-565, Registration with CRTC for Fox News Canada
  20. ^ Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2004-88, Requests to add Fox News and NFL Network from the Canadian Cable Telecommunications Association
  21. ^ Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2004-45, Call for comments on proposals for the addition of Fox News and NFL Network
  22. ^ Americable
  23. ^ Mediatti
  24. ^ Pan Global TV Japan
  • Collins, Scott. Crazy Like a Fox: The Inside Story of How Fox News Beat CNN. ISBN 1-59184-029-5.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Unofficial pages

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