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They're Dropping Like Flies. Kim Hume, Brit's Wife, Leaves FOX News

Reported by Marie Therese - September 26, 2006 -

The New York Daily News reported this morning that Brit Hume's wife, Kim, has left FOX News. "Kim Hume's imminent exit as Fox's D.C. bureau chief was announced Thursday," the News column noted. "The buzz out of Washington is that she and the anchorman had been tattletaling on each other to the chairman and CEO of Fox Television Stations [Roger Ailes]." An unnamed source at FOX News told the Daily News that "Brit's not the easiest guy to get along with ... You disagree with him, and it's an argument. It's his way or the highway. [Kim] is a tough cookie, but he speaks down to her in front of other people." A FOX News Channel spokesman denied the reports about the reasons for the Kim Hume departure. In the face of dropping ratings, FNC has been reorganizing its lineup and axing shows and hosts.

This goes along with another report in today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution (registration required) revealing that, in an unprecedented move, FOX News Channel has tripled the fee it charges its cable subscribers to carry FNC programming.

According to the AJC, "Fox, which overtook CNN in the ratings race in early 2002, currently gets an average of 27 cents per subscriber each month. The network has proposed bumping that amount to a stunning $1, while also talking with cable companies about carrying a proposed Fox business news channel."

"Some believe Fox is playing an aggressive bit of gamesmanship with its $1 request and will settle for a smaller increase. "Going from 25 cents to a dollar is completely unrealistic," said Derek Baine, an analyst with Kagan Research.

Yet honchos at Fox's parent, News Corp., have postured about putting up a fight if they don't get what they want, including the possibility of yanking the channel and unleashing the wrath of the channel's base of vociferous viewers.

Determining who wins— or, more likely, who compromises — promises to be a lively business drama. Fox may be powerful, but so are the nation's cable companies. "The sides are evenly matched," said cable and media veteran Dennis Miller, of Spark Capital in Boston.(AJC, 9-26-06)


UPDATE: 9-26-06 4:31 PM: Post corrected to show that Kim and Brit Hume are still married. Hat tip to our reader YYZ for the catch. Also, post expanded to include info about rate increases. - MT