Trump’s on and off love affair with Fox News seems to be in the midst of another rough patch as he Tweeted his unhappiness at the network Saturday.
“Fox keeps on plugging to try and become politically correct,” he Tweeted. “They put RINO Paul Ryan on their Board. They hire “debate questions to Crooked Hillary fraud Donna Brazile (and others who are even worse).”
“Fox News just doesn’t get what’s happening!”
“They are being fed Democrat talking points, and they play them without hesitation or research.”
“Chris Wallace is nastier to Republicans than even Deface the Nation or Sleepy Eyes.”
The president still has the Fox primetime lineup in his corner, but his criticism of the network seems to be growing louder. However, his mocking of Chris Wallace is nothing new.
Trump has said multiple times he wishes a conservative alternative to Fox News existed, even though he takes credit for their record ratings.
One America News Network (OANN), has evolved into a very pro-Trump cable news network. Still, the channel has limited financial resources to compete with Fox considering the network is owned by Herring Networks, Inc. This much smaller company does not have the advantage of a multibillion-dollar media conglomerate backing the cable news outlet.
There are other conservative cable and digital video outlets like Newsmax TV, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, and The First, a channel on the ViacomCBS free streaming cable TV app PlutoTV, but none are really in the same league as Fox.
For there to be a true conservative alternative to Fox News, a media company with large pockets like Disney or WarnerMedia would have to fund the channel and accept years of losses. Creating a Fox News competitor would take millions of dollars to fund and would take years to establish credibility and trust with cable audiences.
In January, the Wall Street Journal reported Hicks Equity Partners, an investment firm, was considering a potential $250 million buyout of One America News Network with plans to create a well-funded alternative to Fox News. However, no deal so far has been reported.
In addition to financial backing, a Fox competitor would need a primetime line up of respected conservative commentators like Ben Shapiro to help establish the audience’s trust.
Another challenge would be gaining a position on cable channel lineups across the nation. For a channel to gain an audience, cable subscribers have to be able to watch the channel on their cable system (Comcast, Charter, etc.). The cable dial is almost already full, which would make it challenging to gain coverage for a new channel.
One solution would be networks like Newsmax TV and OANN to merge since each channel has some cable coverage. They could be more powerful as one rather than separate.
While Trump may continue to wish for a true Fox competitor to rise, the odds are very slim that will happen anytime soon.
Fox News is the NFL of conservative cable news networks, and it’s hard to beat the best in the game. Just ask the now bankrupt XFL that tried to create a professional spring football league.
It’s hard to dethrone the king, and Fox News is the king of cable news.
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