A report from Mediaite published Friday says that “an alternative conservative network is being actively discussed amongst conservative fat cats” due to concerns over the ideological drift of Fox News.
According to the report, a source close to the matter told the liberal-leaning Mediaite that “serious discussions are underway to create an alternative conservative cable network on the belief that the Fox News Channel is moving too far to the left.”
“The source, who is engaged in the talks, says a meeting is planned for today with two prominent high-powered television executives, some underperforming conservative networks and people who have an interest and the ability to fund a new network,” it continued.
The Friday meeting came on the heels of several weeks of turmoil at the network. In addition to the departure of Bill O’Reilly over sexual harassment claims, a profile of Rupert Murdoch’s sons James and Lachlan in The New York Times last weekend claimed the two were moving away from the “old-guard culture on which their father built his empire” and wanted “a warmer and fuzzier workplace” at Fox News.
A New York magazine article pointed in a similar direction, saying a “management shake-up” was in the offing and reporting that Murdoch’s sons refused to give network co-president Bill Shine a vote of confidence after “withering press coverage of Fox News in recent weeks.”
In a tweet Thursday, Fox News personality Sean Hannity said that if Shine departed, “that’s the total end of the FNC as we know it. Done.”
According to Mediaite, the new network “could immediately reach at least 85 million homes.” That’s all good, but who would be the on-air talent?
Bill O’Reilly was one name immediately mentioned by Mediaite, as was Tomi Lahren, the former host who’s on the outs at TheBlaze.
In addition, a leftward drift of Fox News would likely mean a number of the more solidly conservative members of the staff would jump ship. While it’s too early to speculate, it doesn’t sound like Sean Hannity, for instance, is all that jazzed about the “warmer and fuzzier” Fox News.
However, the source says that the “who” won’t be determined until the “how” is laid out. One thing’s for sure, though — if the “fair and balanced” network wants to lurch to the left, it’s going to have some very strong competition.
Sources: TheBlaze, Mediate, NY Times, and Conservative Tribune