In the wake of the 2020 election, Fox News has experienced its worst ratings decline in the channel’s history and while the network would never publicly acknowledge why the downfall occurred, many would point to its election coverage as the primary factor.
According to Newsmax, the network is apparently scrambling to gain back its once-loyal viewers, even going as far as announcing a major shakeup in its prime-time lineup, as host Martha MacCallum has been booted out of her prime-time slot and into a less-than-desirable afternoon slot.
What’s going on?
MacCallum’s show, The Story, was the reigning champion of its 7 p.m. time slot, but that all began to change as formerly loyal Fox News viewers vowed, by the thousands, to boycott the station in the wake of its election coverage.
Many of those viewers chose the up-and-coming conservative alternative news channel Newsmax, which gained so much traction that Newsmax TV’s Greg Kelly Reports matched and eventually beat MacCallum’s ratings in the same time slot, which was virtually thought to be impossible not long ago.
“Newsmax’s consistently strong numbers during the day and especially at the 7 p.m. ET slot has caused panic at Fox, which rarely makes lineup changes,” Newsmax said in a recent statement while adding “The Fox is on the run.”
According to data from Nielsen Coverage Rating, Newsmax’s rise is tangible, as the numbers reveal that the emerging network has consistently siphoned off between one-third and one-half of Fox News’ daytime audience, Newsweek reported.
Even more incredible is the fact that those are just the numbers that are officially tracked. It’s possible that Newsmax TV ratings are even higher than what’s reported, as Newsmax TV also offers its app for free across a vast majority of streaming services and devices, while Fox News does not.
The lineup changes
Fox News officially announced that the lineup changes are just a standard switch-up to begin the new year. “This new powerful lineup ensures FOX News Media will continue to deliver outstanding coverage for our viewers who depend on the most trusted names in the business,” Fox said in a statement, according to Mediaite.
Hosts Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino, who both had solo shows in the afternoon time slots, have been pushed back to anchoring a two-hour segment of America’s Newsroom in the morning, a show that Hemmer was previously promoted from. Host Harris Faulkner will host a new show in the 11 a.m. time slot called The Faulkner Focus.
Filling those vacant afternoon slots will be Chief White House correspondent John Roberts, who will be teaming up with host Sandra Smith to host a two-hour show called America Reports.
The network will reportedly name Roberts’ replacement in the near future.
Finally, MacCallum’s prime-time show, The Story, has been pushed back to a mid-afternoon time slot. Regarding her vacated prime-time slot, Fox News announced that it will be rotating in several different opinion hosts for the 7 p.m. hour in a show that will be called FOX News Primetime.