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March 07, 2014

Newsmax Plans a "Kinder, Gentler" Right-Leaning Television Alternative to Fox


The founder of the conservative media company Newsmax is planning to launch a cable TV network to compete with Fox News, but not quite the same. Christopher Ruddy wants to launch Newsmax TV later this year, and is billing it as a “kinder, gentler Fox” that will be “more information-based rather than being vituperative and polarizing.”

Bloomberg Businessweek’s profile of Ruddy notes that he himself isn’t a Republican and is “more moderate” than you might expect from the head of Newsmax. But Ruddy thinks there’s room in the cable landscape for a conservative competitor to Fox News, which hasn’t been done effectively to date.

It's a good idea. Fox would benefit from some competition, in terms of quality, though of course not in terms of ratings.

As far as Newsmax's suggestion they'd be a "kinder, gentler" Fox, I take that largely as brand differentiation, seizing upon Fox's perceived weakness (or at least its weakness as divined by critics). I'm not sure how serious they are about that.* End of the day, controversy and argument seems to be good for ratings.

Beck's Blaze TV, a commenter tells me, is being picked up by cable stations, too.

But I think this is for the good. More voices, not fewer. In addition, any Fox competitor would actually help to mainstream the idea of actually reporting fairly on conservative positions -- right now Fox is essentially ghettoized, by being all alone in offering a fair take where conservatives are more than props or punchlines. Multiple stations with the same basic mission takes them all out of the ghetto.

* Hmm: If "kinder, gentler" is a code for female-skewing, that would be a more interesting attempt at brand differentiation. Conservative-leaning women are probably an underserved market, as conservative media, generally, skews male in tone.

At least it seems that way to me.

For example: Why hasn't Fox launched a "View" clone? (Or have they already and I just didn't know about it?)

Every other channel has a View clone. Why not Fox?

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posted by Ace at 04:22 PM

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