Fox News, officially Fox News Channel, abbreviated FNC and commonly known as Fox, is an American multinational conservative cable news television channel based in New York City. It is owned by Fox News Media, which itself is owned by the Fox Corporation. The channel broadcasts primarily from studios at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan. Fox News provides service to 86 countries and overseas territories worldwide, with international broadcasts featuring Fox Extra segments during ad breaks.
The channel was created by Australian-American media mogul Rupert Murdoch to appeal to a conservative audience, hiring former Republican media consultant and CNBC executive Roger Ailes as its founding CEO. It launched on October 7, 1996, to 17 million cable subscribers. Fox News grew during the late 1990s and 2000s to become the dominant subscription news network in the U.S. As of September 2018, approximately 87,118,000 U.S. households (90.8% of television subscribers) received Fox News. In 2019, Fox News was the top-rated cable network, averaging 2.5 million viewers. Murdoch is the current executive chairman and Suzanne Scott is the CEO.
Fox News has been described as practicing biased reporting in favor of the Republican Party, its politicians, and conservative causes while portraying the Democratic Party in a negative light. Critics have cited the channel as detrimental to the integrity of news overall. Fox News’ official position is that news reporting operates independently of its opinion and commentary programming, and have denied bias in news reporting, although former employees have stated that Fox ordered them to “slant the news in favor of conservatives”. During the presidency of Donald Trump, observers said there was a pronounced tendency of the Fox News Channel to serve as a “mouthpiece” for the administration, providing “propaganda” and a “feedback loop” for Trump, with scholars suggesting that the channel came to resemble a form of state TV.
Main article: History of Fox News
In May 1985, Australian publisher Rupert Murdoch announced that he and American industrialist and philanthropist Marvin Davis intended to develop “a network of independent stations as a fourth marketing force” to compete directly with CBS, NBC, and ABC through the purchase of six television stations owned by Metromedia. In July 1985, 20th Century Fox announced Murdoch had completed his purchase of 50% of Fox Filmed Entertainment, the parent company of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. A year later, 20th Century Fox earned $5.6 million in its fiscal third period ended May 31, 1986, in contrast to a loss of $55.8 million in the third period of the previous year.
Subsequently, and prior to founding FNC, Murdoch had gained experience in the 24-hour news business when News Corporation’s BSkyB subsidiary began Europe’s first 24-hour news channel (Sky News) in the United Kingdom in 1989. With the success of his fourth network efforts in the United States, experience gained from Sky News and the turnaround of 20th Century Fox, Murdoch announced on January 31, 1996, that News Corp. would launch a 24-hour news channel on cable and satellite systems in the United States as part of a News Corp. “worldwide platform” for Fox programming: “The appetite for news – particularly news that explains to people how it affects them – is expanding enormously”.
In February 1996, after former U.S. Republican Party political strategist and NBC executive Roger Ailes left cable television channel America’s Talking (now MSNBC), Murdoch asked him to start Fox News Channel. Ailes demanded five months of 14-hour workdays and several weeks of rehearsal shows before its launch on October 7, 1996.
At its debut 17 million households were able to watch FNC; however, it was absent from the largest U.S. media markets of New York City and Los Angeles. Rolling news coverage during the day consisted of 20-minute single-topic shows such as Fox on Crime or Fox on Politics, surrounded by news headlines. Interviews featured facts at the bottom of the screen about the topic or the guest. The flagship newscast at the time was The Schneider Report, with Mike Schneider’s fast-paced delivery of the news. During the evening, Fox featured opinion shows: The O’Reilly Report (later The O’Reilly Factor), The Crier Report (hosted by Catherine Crier) and Hannity & Colmes.
From the beginning, FNC has placed heavy emphasis on visual presentation. Graphics were designed to be colorful and gain attention; this helped the viewer to grasp the main points of what was being said, even if they could not hear the host (with on-screen text summarizing the position of the interviewer or speaker, and “bullet points” when a host was delivering commentary). Fox News also created the “Fox News Alert”, which interrupted its regular programming when a breaking news story occurred.
Fox News Studios in 2009.
To accelerate its adoption by cable providers, Fox News paid systems up to $11 per subscriber to distribute the channel. This contrasted with the normal practice, in which cable operators paid stations carriage fees for programming. When Time Warner bought Ted Turner’s Turner Broadcasting System, a federal antitrust consent decree required Time Warner to carry a second all-news channel in addition to its own CNN on its cable systems. Time Warner selected MSNBC as the secondary news channel, not Fox News. Fox News claimed this violated an agreement (to carry Fox News). Citing its agreement to keep its U.S. headquarters and a large studio in New York City, News Corporation enlisted the help of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s administration to pressure Time Warner Cable (one of the city’s two cable providers) to transmit Fox News on a city-owned channel. City officials threatened to take action affecting Time Warner’s cable franchises in the city.
During the September 11, 2001 attacks, Fox News was the first news organization to run a news ticker on the bottom of the screen to keep up with the flow of information that day. The ticker has remained, informing viewers about additional news which reporters may not mention on-screen and repeating news mentioned during a broadcast; it has proven popular with viewers.
Further information: Media bias in the United States
Fox News has been described as practicing biased reporting in favor of the Republican Party, the George W. Bush and Donald Trump administrations, and conservative causes while portraying the Democratic Party in a negative light. Critics have cited the channel as detrimental to the integrity of news overall. Fox News employees have said that news reporting operates independently of its opinion and commentary programming, and have denied bias in news reporting, while former employees have said that Fox ordered them to “slant the news in favor of conservatives”. During Trump’s presidency, observers have noted a pronounced tendency of the Fox News Channel to serve as a “mouthpiece” for the administration, providing “propaganda” and a “feedback loop” for Trump, with one presidential scholar stating, “It’s the closest we’ve come to having state TV.”
Fox News airport newsstand
FNC airport newsstand at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport
Television news studio
FNC’s newsroom, November 15, 2007.
FNC maintains an archive of most of its programs. This archive also includes Movietone News series of newsreels from its now Disney-owned namesake movie studio, 20th Century Fox. Licensing for the Fox News archive is handled by ITN Source, the archiving division of ITN.
Main article: List of programs broadcast by Fox News Channel
FNC presents a variety of programming, with up to 15 hours of live broadcasting per day in addition to programming and content for the Fox Broadcasting Company. Most programs are broadcast from Fox News headquarters in New York City (at 1211 Avenue of the Americas), in its streetside studio on Sixth Avenue in the west wing of Rockefeller Center, sharing its headquarters with sister channel Fox Business Network. Fox News Channel has eight studios at its New York City headquarters that are used for its and Fox Business’ programming: Studio B (used for Fox Business programming), Studio D (which has an area for studio audiences; and is used by The Greg Gutfeld Show, Fox & Friends First), Studio F (used for The Story with Martha MacCallum, The Five, and America’s Election Headquarters, Fox & Friends, Outnumbered, Outnumbered Overtime, America’s News HQ, Justice with Judge Jeanine) Studio G (which houses Fox Business shows), Studio H (Fox News Deck used for Shepard Smith Reporting and breaking news coverage), Studio J (used for America’s Newsroom, Hannity and Justice with Judge Jeanine) Starting in 2018, Thursday Night Football had its pregame show, Fox NFL Thursday, originating from the Fox News studio.
The remaining programs (such as Tucker Carlson Tonight, Special Report with Bret Baier, The Ingraham Angle, Fox News @ Night, and editions of America’s News HQ not broadcast from the New York City studios) are broadcast from Fox News’s Washington, D.C. studios, located on Capitol Hill across from Union Station in a secured building shared by a number of other television networks (including NBC News and C-SPAN). Audio simulcasts of the channel are aired on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
In an October 11, 2009, in a New York Times article, Fox said its hard-news programming runs from “9 AM to 4 PM and 6 to 8 PM on weekdays”. However, it makes no such claims for its other broadcasts, which primarily consist of editorial journalism and commentary.
Fox News Channel began broadcasting in the 720p resolution format on May 1, 2008. This format is available on all major cable and satellite providers.
The Fox News Group produces Fox News Sunday, which airs on Fox Broadcasting and re-airs on FNC. Fox News also produces occasional special event coverage that is broadcast on FBC.