It certainly seemed to some viewers that Fox News underwent a decided shift in tone over the course of President Donald Trump’s tenure, with the network’s support for the Republican president apparently waning as his efforts to win re-election looked grimmer — and apparently, less lucrative.
According to Mediaite, top Fox executive Lachlan Murdoch implied in a Thursday talk that it would better serve the network’s financial interests to be “loyal opposition” to President Joe Biden, rather than a loyal supporter of former President Trump.
The comments from Murdoch, who serves as CEO of Fox Corporation, were shared by reporters who provided coverage of a Morgan Stanley Tech, Media, and Telecom conference that took place on Thursday.
“That’s what our job is now”
According to NBC’s Dylan Byers, Murdoch said at the conference: “The main benefciary of the Trump administration from a ratings points of view was MSNBC…and that’s because they’re the loyal opposition.”
He went on: “That’s what our job is now with the Biden administration, and you’ll see our ratings really improve from here.”
Still, Byers also reported that Murdoch said Fox News understands it represents the “75 million people” who voted for then-President Trump in November 2020.
“We’re going to stick to the center-right,” Murdoch reportedly conceded. “That’s where our audience is.”
“Exactly as we projected”
According to Mediaite, Murdoch also addressed on Thursday the substantial ratings slump Fox suffered following the 2020 election, when the network plummeted from its highest ratings ever to find itself trailing behind competitor networks CNN and MSNBC.
According to Variety editor and reporter Brian Steinberg, Murdoch said Thursday that “we don’t get emotional” about ratings dips, and that the drop-off in viewership “happened exactly as we projected.”
He went on to suggest that the “spikes” in ratings that CNN and MSNBC enjoyed during the Trump era “have come back down to earth,” particularly for the former of the two.
Meanwhile, Fox’s ratings have begun climbing back to their normal levels, as well, according to Mediaite.
But will Fox ever reach the heights it had eclipsed before turning its back on the 45th president just months ago? Only time will tell.