Fox News Channel has taken a lot of flak for its coverage of election night and the days that followed, with President Donald Trump and his allies criticizing the network for calling the state of Arizona prematurely for Joe Biden and being among the first to project Biden as the winner of the race for the White House. Now, there are emerging signs that the network could soon be done for good.
A new report alleges that President Trump has set his sights on his next big venture: building a digital media empire to crush Fox News.
According to the Washington Examiner, sources close to Trump told Axios last week that the president was greatly angered by the way Fox covered the election and that it was the final straw in his ongoing feud with the right-leaning network.
“He plans to wreck Fox,” one source told Axios. “No doubt about it.”
Conservatives flee Fox
Up until the election, Fox News was the highest-rated cable news network, and its election night coverage shattered previous viewership records, according to Deadline. But then the network called Arizona for Biden way too early — more than a week before most other outlets called the state — while failing to call several other states where Trump had obvious leads.
By the Saturday after the election, Fox News was behind CNN and MSNBC in the ratings, with less than 2 million viewers in that time period, the Washington Examiner reported.
The right-leaning outlet Newsmax, on the other hand, beat CNBC and Fox Business in its ratings, showing at least some defection from Fox News.
Indeed, with Fox viewers already upset at what they considered bias by presidential debate moderator Chris Wallace and increasing appearances by left-leaning hosts and contributors, many appear to agree with Trump that the network has failed them. Breitbart’s John Nolte wrote in a column last week that Fox viewers have been “stabbed in the back over and over and over again.”
“Alternatives are forming”
Seeking to provide an alternative for conservatives who are fed up with it all, Trump is going to be spending “a lot of time slamming Fox,” a source told Axios, according to the Washington Examiner.
The president doesn’t plan to launch a cable network, according to Axios’ report, but would instead focus on a digital streaming service with a subscription fee, similar to Fox Nation.
Fox, for its part, seems open to the challenge. “We love competition. We have always on thrived with competition. And we have strong competition now,” Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch said after Election Day, according to the Examiner. But if Trump has his way, that optimism will likely fade fast.
This is why @FoxNews daytime and weekend daytime have lost their ratings. They are abysmal having @alfredenewman1 (Mayor Pete of Indiana’s most unsuccessful city, by far!) on more than Republicans. Many great alternatives are forming & exist. Try @OANN & @newsmax, among others! https://t.co/ewHE8GBRNy
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2020