Good Luck With That…

BloombergBusinessweek’s Karl Taro Greenfeld profiles NewsMax’s Chris Ruddy and writes about Ruddy’s ambitions for a cable news channel…

Ruddy is registered as an Independent and is more moderate than the rhetoric typically espoused by his media properties. He has become friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton and won’t rule out supporting Hillary for president in 2016. All of which makes his latest ambition, to build a TV network that he believes will challenge the conservative news monopoly of Fox News, either a misguided fantasy or a cunningly disruptive business plan.

For the last 18 years, Fox News, led by its president, Roger Ailes, has exploited its unique slant on the news to generate nearly $1 billion in profits a year for parent 21st Century Fox (FOXA). There’s been no serious conservative competitor to Fox News, and Ruddy has never understood why. (Fox News didn’t make anyone available for comment.) “How do you have something so successful in cable that nobody else wants to imitate or cut into their market share?” Ruddy says. “It defies reason.”

This June, Ruddy plans to launch NewsmaxTV, a 24-hour cable news channel that will be, he says, a kinder, gentler Fox. “Our goal is to be a little more boomer-oriented, more information-based rather than being vituperative and polarizing,” he says. Ruddy says he can make NewsmaxTV profitable entirely through advertising and selling Newsmax’s consumer products over the air. It’s the same business model that’s been successful for QVC, Home Shopping Network (HSNI), and numerous televangelists, but no one has tried it in cable news. He’s quick to add that he doesn’t need to beat Fox News, he just needs to shave off a little of its audience—particularly those conservatives who feel Fox has drifted too far to the right. “If we take 10 to 15 percent of the Fox audience,” he says, “and they are making $1 billion a year, then we are going to be hugely profitable.”

If anyone was interested what happens when someone tries a Current TV on the conservative side the spectrum, they may soon get their wish. I wish them luck. They’ll need it…

12 Responses to “Good Luck With That…”

  1. Will be interesting to see who they hire, how widely available it is, etc.

  2. Yet another cable news niche channel to further dilute a shrinking viewership. By the time this ends every viewer will have their own network.

  3. you’ll be my first guest.

  4. savefarris Says:

    Doesn’t matter where they are on the ideological spectrum: if they’re to the right of Bernie Sanders, the MSM pack mentality will declare it DOA and curse the abomination of “ultra far-right news channels.”

  5. “NewsmaxTV profitable entirely through advertising and selling Newsmax’s consumer products over the air. It’s the same business model that’s been successful for QVC, Home Shopping Network (HSNI), and numerous televangelists, but no one has tried it in cable news.”
    A news and shopping channel? ok then .

  6. […] “A kinder, gentler Fox…” [Inside Cable News] […]

  7. […] “A kinder, gentler Fox…” [Inside Cable News] […]

  8. […] “A kinder, gentler Fox…” [Inside Cable News] […]

  9. “If anyone was interested what happens when someone tries a Current TV on the conservative side the spectrum, they may soon get their wish. I wish them luck. They’ll need it…”

    Unno facto:

    Conservative radio = big success

    Liberal radio = big flop

    With liberal biased TV all over the place, don’t be so sure there isn’t some room for more than one conservative voice on TV.

  10. […] “A kinder, gentler Fox…” [Inside Cable News] […]

  11. Unless they can poach some big name talent/contributors off FNC…which they won’t be able to…they have little chance of success. It will be more interesting to see if this channel…if it ever gets to air…which I doubt…would force FNC to move rightward to fend them off. Doubtful.

  12. […] “A kinder, gentler Fox…” [Inside Cable News] […]

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