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Fox News
Fox News

The Fox News Channel (FNC) is an American basic cable and satellite news television channel that was founded by media mogul Rupert Murdoch in 1996. In 2001 Roger Ailes appointed himself as permanent CEO of this news operation that was created as a Republican-centered alternative to CNN. In January 2002, the ratings of the channel surpassed top-rated CNN to become the No. 1 news cable channel. They fell in March 2002, but since then the network has maintained its No. 1 cable rating (as of 2019) with increasing viewership and international access. [citation needed]

Fox News' dominant status was challenged in the wake of the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, with CNN taking the No. 1 network place back for the first time since the 2000s, alongside rival MSNBC in second place, with Fox News in third place.[1][2] It has since regained the top spot.[citation needed]



The channel was created by Australian-born American media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who hired Roger Ailes as its founding CEO. The channel was launched on October 7, 1996[3] to 17 million cable subscribers. Prior to founding Fox News, Murdoch had gained significant experience in the 24-hour news business when News Corporation's British Sky Broadcasting subsidiary started Europe's first 24-hour news channel, Sky News, in the United Kingdom in 1989.[4] With the success of his fourth network efforts in the United States,[5][6] experience gained from Sky News, and turnaround of 20th Century Fox, Murdoch announced on January 31, 1996, that his company would be launching a 24-hour news channel to air on both cable and satellite systems as part of a News Corp. "worldwide platform" for Fox programming, reasoning that "The appetite for news – particularly news that explains to people how it affects them – is expanding enormously."[7]

Exterior of the Fox News Channel studios in New York City

In February 1996, after former NBC executive and Republican Party political strategist[8] Roger Ailes left America's Talking (now MSNBC), Murdoch called him to start the Fox News Channel. Ailes worked individuals through five months of 14-hour workdays and several weeks of rehearsal shows before launch, on October 7, 1996.[9]

At launch, only 10 million households were able to watch Fox News, with none in the major media markets of New York City and Los Angeles. According to published reports, many media reviewers had to watch the first day's programming at Fox News' studios because it was not readily available. The rolling news coverage during the day consisted of 20-minute single topic shows like Fox on Crime or Fox on Politics surrounded by news headlines. Interviews had various facts at the bottom of the screen about the topic or the guest.


In the 2000 presidential election, Fox News, which was available in 56 million homes nationwide, saw a staggering 440% increase in viewers, the biggest gain among the three cable news television networks.[10]


Fox News ended 2020 as the most-watched network in cable news history. However, in January 2021, after the U.S. Capitol attack, it was less watched than CNN and MSNBC for three straight days, which had not happened since September 2000.[11]

In August 2021, Fox required compulsory reporting of COVID-19 vaccination status from employees, despite prominent Fox personalities Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity being opposed to mandatory reporting of COVID-19 vaccination status.[12]

Fox News host, Tucker Carlson's departure in April 2023 sent shares of Fox News parent Fox Corp. down more than 3 percent. In total, Carlson's show earned $77.5 million in ad revenue in 2022, according to Vivvixx data.[13]


The Edge

Hosted by Paula Zahn, The Edge was one of the original programs on the network, focusing on talk between the host and newsmakers, like other programs on the network at the time. During the program's later years, John Gibson became host when the network discovered Zahn was in the midst of contract negotiations with CNN. The show was cancelled in 2002.

The O'Reilly Factor

On October 7, 1996, The O'Reilly Report aired its first episode, hosted by Bill O'Reilly. It was later renamed because of a suggestion by a friend. The O'Reilly Factor, unlike many other Fox News programs, was pre-recorded, or "live-to-tape," except when covering breaking news or special events. Some guests were interviewed before the "live-to-tape" period and were slotted in the program as appropriate. O'Reilly's producers said that video editing took place only when an interview exceeded the available length in a program, of which the total was 43 minutes (for an hour-long slot, once commercials and news breaks are added), though some critics suggested that interviews were sometimes edited after taping to suit O'Reilly's agenda.[14][15]

O'Reilly and his producers discussed potential topics twice a week.[16] A producer researched the story and booked guests for O'Reilly, and an information packet was produced with possible angles for O'Reilly to explore. The producers would often "pre-interview" the guest so that they know what potential points he or she might make.[17] For each show, O'Reilly, with the assistance of his staff, produced a script with the words for the "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day" segments, and points of discussion and questions for the guests that appeared on the program. On February 2, 2009, the show began airing in high definition and moved to the previous set used by the Fox Report.

The show ended in 2017 after O'Reilly was dismissed from the network due to sexual harassment allegations, leading to a large advertiser boycott of the show.[18][19]

Your World with Neil Cavuto

Debuting as the Cavuto Business Report on the network's launch in 1996, Your World with Neil Cavuto has become a very popular show, hosted by reporter and commentator Neil Cavuto. The program covers the latest business news stories of the day, in addition to giving analysis on how the stock market moved through the day. It also covers political stories, such as how political actions may affect the markets, in addition to analysis of the markets by a group of analysts from one of the Cost of Freedom business block programs. Closing the program, the show has a commentary segment called "Common Sense," in which Neil gives his point of view on a news story of the day. The program is broadcast live weekdays at 4 p.m. ET.

Hannity and Colmes

FNC's Studio D for Your World and Malisong & Alfredo

Hannity & Colmes was an American television show on Fox News Channel, hosted by Sean Hannity[20] and Alan Colmes,[21] who respectively presented a conservative and liberal perspective. The series premiered in October 1996, and the final episode aired on January 9, 2009. It was the precursor to the current Hannity series, which currently airs in the same timeslot.

Fox Magazine

Fox Magazine was launched in 1997 as a weekly newsmagazine on the Fox News Channel. Hosted by Laurie Dhue, the program was an almost weekly look into some of the previous week's stories, in addition to special series produced by the program itself, such as its constant series about Nashville. These shows mostly consisted of adverts from the Fox News program and the National Rifle Association. Included in the programming were a recap of the previous week's commentaries from a number of the network's commentators. The program would come to an end on September 11, 2005, with Dhue leaving the network to work on Geraldo at Large.

Fox and Friends

Fox & Friends is a morning news show that debuted in 1998. It is currently hosted by Ainsley Earhardt, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade during the week. Weekends are hosted by Rachel Campos-Duffy, Pete Hegseth and Will Cain.


Drudge was a television series on Fox News Channel that was hosted by Matt Drudge. Drudge left the show in 1999 after network executives refused to let him show a National Enquirer photograph of a 21-week-old fetus in protest of abortion.[22]


  1. ^ "Fox News's post-Trump slump, explained". Vox. January 27, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  2. ^ "Fox News ratings fell below both CNN and MSNBC for the first time since 2000 in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol". BusinessInsider. January 12, 2021. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  3. ^ American Public Media: News Archive for October 7, 1996 Archived December 9, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Shah, Saeed. (September 24, 2002) The Independent Business Analysis: Unstoppable Sky machine rolls on as ITV troubles worsen Dawn Airey's free-to-air television experience will be invaluable to BSkyB as it moves beyond its pay-TV model. Section: Business; Page 21.
  5. ^ Schulberg, Pete. (July 15, 1994) The Oregonian Fox is a business, if not artistic, success. Section: Television; Page E1.
  6. ^ Braxton, Greg. (April 6, 1997) Chicago Sun-Times How Fox broke from the pack to become cutting-edge network.
  7. ^ Williams, Scott. (January 31, 1996) Associated Press Murdoch taps Ailes for new network; Former CNBC chief set to direct 24-hour news channel, take on CNN.
  8. ^ Mifflin, Lawrie (October 7, 1996). "At the new Fox News Channel, the buzzword is fairness, separating news from bias". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  9. ^ "News Corporation: FOX News Channel". News Corporation. April 18, 2008. Archived from the original on December 27, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2008.
  10. ^ "Election gave cable news a wild ratings ride, but now it needs an encore.(Chicago Tribune)". Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service. December 19, 2000.
  11. ^ Baragona, Justin (January 11, 2021). "CNN and MSNBC Both Beat Fox News in Total Viewers for First Time Since 2000". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  12. ^ Darcy, Oliver (August 18, 2021). "Fox News mandates employees disclose vaccination status, contradicting rhetoric from top stars". CNN Business. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  13. ^ Zahn, Max (April 27, 2023). "How Tucker Carlson's exit could financially impact Fox Corporation, according to experts". ABC News.
  14. ^ "Greenroom Confessions – Boise weekly". 2005.
  15. ^ "Bill O' behind the scenes Q/A".
  16. ^ "Bostonia – BU alumni quarterly". 2001. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007.
  17. ^ "Accuracy in media report". 2003. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007.
  18. ^ Darcy, Oliver (May 12, 2017). "Bill O'Reilly talks about his firing from Fox News, promises 'exposition' to reveal 'organized left-wing cabal' soon". CNNMoney. Retrieved June 13, 2022.
  19. ^ Treene, Alayna (April 6, 2017). "At least 56 companies have pulled ads from The O'Reilly Factor". Axios. Retrieved June 13, 2022.
  20. ^ "Sean Hannity Bio". Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2007.
  21. ^ Alan Colmes' Bio, October 10, 2002
  22. ^ "The Going Gets Tough, and Matt Drudge Gets Going". The Washington Post. November 15, 1999. Retrieved June 7, 2012.