Archive for the FNC Category

Roger Ailes Shoots Down Gabriel Sherman…

Posted in FNC on July 23, 2015 by icn2

Well…not literally…but figuratively. The Hollywood Reporter’s Paul Bond has Ailes talking about the Trump thing…

“My relationship with Rupert has never been better — I talked to him three times today, and none of the conversations involved Donald Trump or the New York Times,” Ailes tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Your move Mr. Sherman.

Trump-mania

Posted in FNC on July 22, 2015 by icn2

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman writes about Donald Trump, Roger Ailes, and Rupert Murdoch…

One reason Murdoch is taking to social media and deploying his publishing properties to attack Trump may be the simple fact that he hasn’t been able to control his most powerful media organ: Fox News. According to sources, Murdoch has tried — and failed — to rein in Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, who, insiders say, is pushing Fox to defend Trump’s most outlandish comments. This week, Ailes told his senior executives during a meeting that Murdoch recently called him and asked if Fox could “back off the Trump coverage,” a source told me. Ailes is said to have boasted to his executives that he told Murdoch he was covering Trump “the way he wanted to.” The implication was that he wasn’t going to budge.

And then there’s this…

It’s understandable that Murdoch would be frustrated. Fox News has been a ringleader of the Trump circus. Shortly after Trump jumped into the race, he had a “2-to-3 hour” private lunch with Ailes, sources told me. Last month, Fox gave Trump more airtime than any other candidate. And, according to sources, the channel’s personalities are taking an active role in aiding Trump, both on- and off-camera. One source explained that Ailes has instructed The Five co-host Eric Bolling to defend Trump on air. A review of Bolling’s comments shows that over the past week, he’s gone to bat for Trump numerous times. Last Friday, for example, Bolling complained that conservatives shouldn’t be criticizing the real-estate mogul. “There’s a problem in America, and it’s not Donald Trump,” Bolling declared. He continued to make pro-Trump arguments on Monday and Tuesday’s shows. Another Trump ally is Fox political analyst and pollster Pat Caddell. According to a source with direct knowledge, Caddell has been speaking to Trump “almost every day” about his campaign. “Everything coming out of Trump’s mouth sounds like Pat,” the source said. This morning, Fox & Friends — a show that is used by Ailes to inject his point of view into debates — ran a fawning interview with Trump. At one point in the conversation, co-host Steve Doocy gushed that “someone told me yesterday Donald Trump is like a Navy SEAL.” For his part, Trump has been grateful for the Fox Friends support. Yesterday, at a campaign event in South Carolina where he gave out Lindsey Graham’s personal cell-phone number, Trump heaped praise on Fox & Friends’ Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. “They’re great people,” he said.

Bob Beckel Out At FNC…

Posted in FNC on June 25, 2015 by icn2

In an unusually caustic public display, TVNewser’s Mark Joyella writes about Bill Shine’s public statement on the departure of Bob Beckel from FNC…

In a statement to TVNewser, Bill Shine, executive vice president of programming for Fox News, said “We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold The Five hostage to one man’s personal issues. He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him. Juan Williams and Geraldo Rivera will be among those rotating on the show for the near future.”

Ouch. For Shine to let that get put out says a lot about the situation and (probably) Beckel, particularly when you contrast that with what happened with Gregg Jarrett. FNC tends to bend over backwards for its employees so when things turn acrimonious I tend to side with the network.

Ailes: A Theory…

Posted in FNC on June 25, 2015 by icn2

The timing of the Ailes deal so soon after James and Lachlan Murdoch’s promotions, combined with the confusion over the reporting structure, raises many questions…chief of which is “How did this happen?”

What follows is a possible timeline of events based on a theory and a lack of contradictory evidence.

1. The impending news leaks out to CNBC to David Faber by a source not in Roger Ailes’ sphere of influence. At the time I said I thought Ailes had to have known this was coming because it would be playing with fire for Rupert Murdoch to not keep him in the loop. But subsequent events suggest that Ailes may not have been in the loop enough.

2. FBN puts out, by way of instructions from Ailes according to Gabriel Sherman, that Ailes would continue to report to Rupert Murdoch. The original Faber story made no mention of this so this was big news.

3. The actual announcement comes out and now it is revealed that Ailes is reporting to the Murdoch sons but will have a “special relationship” with Rupert. This isn’t a 100% repudiation of the FBN news but it’s damn close.

4. This is where we get to the speculation part of this blog post. Given what happened this morning, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Ailes started making noises about his displeasure with the current reporting structure. In steps Rupert who gives Roger a new deal, the news release for paints a new murky reporting structure where Ailes reports to all thee Murdochs…and therefore could circumvent both James and Lachlan if he wanted to. The alternate explanation would be the new murky reporting structure of the three headed monster is actually a PR ruse to create the illusion that James and Lachlan still have some oversight when the reality is Ailes really reports to Rupert.

If the idea of Rupert giving Ailes a new deal after a corporate tussle sounds familiar, that’s because it is. We have seen this before. It happened in the early 2000s after Ailes clashed with Lachlan.

What makes the reversal most remarkable is that, until now, Rupert always backed Ailes during his messy feuds with Murdoch’s children. Ailes’s tangles with Lachlan were legion. Not long after 9/11, Rupert gave Ailes a new contract after Ailes threatened to resign following a heated argument with Lachlan in the Fox newsroom. Four years later, Lachlan quit his job as deputy COO in charge of the Fox broadcast group after Rupert supported Ailes in a dispute over a TV show that Ailes wanted and Lachlan didn’t.

This is all just conecture. But it’s conjecture without any contradictory evidence…or at the very least conjecture based on historical precedent and the lack of a realistic alternative narrative being put forth by anyone else at the present. It walks like a duck and talks like a duck and until I see someone come out and credibly state it’s not a duck, I will continue to believe it is a duck.

Roger Ailes Signs New Deal With 21st Century Fox

Posted in FNC on June 25, 2015 by icn2

Well…so much for the kibitzing that Ailes might call it a day after the 2016 election. Roger Ailes just signed a new deal with 21st Century Fox. The timing of this is going to raise some eyebrows, coming so closely on the heels of of the changeover in management with Rupert Murdoch’s sons being installed in new positions. The obvious question to be raised will be “Did A beget B? Did Lachlan and James’ promotions force this deal into being consumated earlier than it would have been in order to calm the waters?”

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–21st Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA, FOX) today announced that Roger Ailes has signed a new multi-year contract with the Company to continue to serve as Chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Business Network, and Chairman of Fox Television Stations.

“I am grateful to Rupert Murdoch for taking the risk on Fox News to see it become the number one 24-hour news network in America. I look forward to working with Rupert, Lachlan and James to do my part to help bring 21st Century Fox well into the future.”

The announcement was made by Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch, to whom Mr. Ailes will jointly report.

Rupert Murdoch, 21st Century Fox’s Executive Co-Chairman as of July 1, commented: “Nearly two decades ago, Roger took a bold idea rooted in the belief that there was room for more choice in cable news, and – much to all the naysayers’ surprise – through his development of vibrant programming and talent, created a behemoth of a business with one of the most passionate and engaged audiences in the history of television news. Roger and I have always had, and will continue to have, a special relationship. Lachlan, James and I are delighted that Roger will be leading key businesses for us and our shareholders for years to come, and he has our unwavering support.”

Lachlan and James Murdoch, 21st Century Fox’s designated Executive Co-Chairman and CEO, respectively, commented: “Roger is an incredibly talented executive and we’re pleased he has accepted our offer to continue his extraordinary record of success at 21st Century Fox. We look forward to witnessing his energy and entrepreneurial drive in leading the next wave of growth for Fox News, Fox Business Network and Fox Television Stations, as well as many years of continued success together.”

Roger Ailes said: “I am grateful to Rupert Murdoch for taking the risk on Fox News to see it become the number one 24-hour news network in America. I look forward to working with Rupert, Lachlan and James to do my part to help bring 21st Century Fox well into the future.”

Megyn Kelly Profile…

Posted in FNC on June 22, 2015 by icn2

In one of the best Megyn Kelly profiles I have seen in quite a while, Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh and Brian Steinberg do a deep dive on Kelly…and breaks some news in the process.

Just as TV news personalities are fast becoming an endangered species, Kelly has evolved into the fresh face of Fox News, and her influence in cable news just keeps growing. Although she’s been a staple at the network for a decade, and headlined her own nightly show since 2013, her current show, “The Kelly File” — featuring segments of news analysis, exclusive interviews and lighthearted cultural debates — is a primetime juggernaut.

And now coming on the heels of landing an exclusive interview this summer with TV’s now infamous Duggars family, a scoop that drew 3.1 million viewers in early June, Kelly is wading into Barbara Walters territory.

Her boss, Roger Ailes, reveals that he’s giving his star a series of primetime specials to air on Fox News starting early next year. These one-hour interviews with high-profile subjects in the news, including celebrities and sports figures, will look like her Duggars scoop with TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” reality stars Jim Bob and Michelle, who broke their silence about reports that their son Josh molested their daughters as a teenager. Kelly believes there’s an opening for this kind of long-form journalism on TV. “Barbara Walters has retired,” Kelly observes. “Diane Sawyer left her anchor role. Oprah has moved to the OWN network and is doing a different thing now. So why not me?” Ailes, CEO of Fox News Channel, is confident that Kelly can handle both breaking news and these more in-depth gets. “Listen, Megyn is so good today that there is no interview I would not want her to do,” Ailes says.

Ailes and Murdoch…

Posted in FBN, FNC on June 17, 2015 by icn2

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman writes about yesterday’s Ailes news…

Just five days earlier, Ailes released what now appears to be a rogue statement to his own Fox Business channel declaring that he would be unaffected by the announcement that Lachlan and James will take control of Fox as part of Rupert’s succession plan. “Roger Ailes will continue to run the news network, reporting directly to Rupert Murdoch,” Fox Business reported. According to a well-placed source, Ailes directed Fox Business executive Bill Shine to tell anchor Stuart Varney to read the statement on air. “Ailes told Shine to write the announcement of the move for Varney to say,” the source said. “In it, Ailes inserted language that he would report to Rupert.”

This was, apparently, news to Rupert. And now the Murdochs are correcting the record. “Roger will report to Lachlan and James,” a 21st Century Fox spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.

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