Fox News is making a lot of changes to its schedule, beginning Monday, January 18. The most notable change boots Martha MacCallum from evening to daytime, to make way for a more inflammatory opinion host.
Fox would have you think the new daytime lineup is about stronger news programming. It subtitled its article about the revamped schedule, “John Roberts is moving from White House beat to anchor desk.” But nobody is fooled. The New York Times headline on the subject reads, “Fox News to Add Another Hour of Right-Wing Talk as Biden Takes Office.” CNN’s is “Fox News removes one of its only nighttime hours of news coverage.”
CNN’s Brian Stelter writes:
Fox News Channel is removing one of its only nighttime hours of news coverage and replacing it with a right-wing opinion show, signifying a further shift toward the incendiary programming that Fox viewers overwhelmingly prefer.
The 7 p.m. hour, anchored by Martha MacCallum and called "The Story," will become "Fox News Primetime" and will be led by a "rotating" cast of opinion hosts, a Fox spokesperson said Monday morning.
MacCallum will move to the 3 p.m. hour next Monday, Fox said. The move will surely be seen as a time slot demotion, since 7 p.m. is a much more prominent position.
Media Matters' Matt Gertz called the new schedule “a rout for the news division,” one that sends a clear message:
MacCallum’s demotion comes after her program shocked industry observers by taking a ratings loss from Newsmax’s offering following the election, the first time Fox had ever been bested by its erstwhile far-right rival. Fox News Primetime gives the network the opportunity to conduct tryouts for its right-wing commentators before potentially granting the influential time slot to whichever is the most impressive.
The message is clear. Fox executives hold the “news”-side figures responsible for the criticism from Trump, outcry from viewers, and the ratings dip that followed the network’s decision desk accurately calling first Arizona and then the 2020 election for President-elect Joe Biden. Rather than being rewarded for telling their audience the truth, they are being punished.
Here’s the new schedule:
- 9-11 a.m. EST – "America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer & Dana Perino"
- 11 a.m. EST – "The Faulkner Focus"
- 12-1 p.m. EST – "Outnumbered"
- 1-3 p.m. EST – "America Reports with John Roberts & Sandra Smith"
- 3-4 p.m. EST – "The Story with Martha MacCallum"
- 4-5 p.m. EST – "Your World with Neil Cavuto"
- 5-6 p.m. EST – "The Five"
- 6-7 p.m. EST – "Special Report with Bret Baier"
- 7-8 p.m. EST – "FOX News Primetime"
(MacCallum image via screen grab)
Her role as the Martha Stewart of the Despicable Right will be hard to follow.