Archive for the ‘Cable News’ Category

Fox News Channel has mastered the art of cable news over the past decade. They turned the battle into a partisan centered grudge match with MSNBC and have run away with the ratings year after year. CNN can barely compete with its objective based approach. ESPN mastered the sports news market and has created a network that most sports loving Americans can’t live without. Has Fox News entered the realm of ESPN in which cable subscribers need the channel to be satisfied in their television service? According to the article by Alex Weprin for TVNewser, News Corp. COO Chase Carey thinks so.

Fox News is beginning a new round of carriage negotiations with several cable operators and is trying to increase the amount of money they are getting per subscriber by more than twice as much as they are currently getting. The article states they are receiving $0.58 per subcriber per month and they’re believed to be looking for $1.25 per subscriber per month. Carey said that FNC was “as important a channel as exists.” He also said that FNC was up to par with ESPN in importance of channels. “ESPN is currently the most valuable cable network in the U.S., pulling in over $4 per subscriber per month in fees,” according to the article.

Fox News saying they are on the level of ESPN is like saying they are to news what HBO is to cable movie channels or PBS to public broadcasting. ESPN dominates sports television to a degree that Fox News couldn’t compare to. FNC does have a large following of viewers, yet that following isn’t large enough to compare to the tens of millions of sports fans than rely on comprehensive sports coverage spanning all professional and collegiate teams. Without ESPN, television viewers would have to resort to local sports networks that offer limited coverage.

If FoxNews was taken off television, there would be a lot of angry viewers, but people would still have various ways to get their news intake. The channel doesn’t cover a wider array of news than other networks. People wouldn’t miss anything without the network. All FoxNews offers is a different approach to presenting the news. Nothing extra is gained other than a partisan angle that many conservative republicans want to watch.

For the purpose of transparency, I think that viewers would be better off without the largest propaganda pushing network in the United States. The most popular programs are biased talking heads that are forcing an agenda. The actual news shows aren’t much different from the other 24-hour news networks. Mr. Carey is simply trying to boost his company’s image with the hope of driving the price up for cable operators. FoxNews is big, but not that big.


MSNBC Follows CNN and NPR

Posted: November 8, 2010 in Cable News, Journalism

In the wake of Rupert Murdoch’s contribution to the GOP, MSNBC made an example out of Keith Olbermann. The cable news host was suspended for two days after refusing to confess on-camera that he contributed money to the Democratic campaign. Apparently, MSNBC hasn’t come to terms with their left-leaning approach to news as easily as Fox has. Despite Fox’s stance on being fair and unbalanced, they know where they stand on politics. After Murdoch’s contribution they did run a short (very short) ad admitting the support the owner of the news organization gave to the Republican party. Just as David Carr said in his New York Times article, if MSNBC wanted to be objective, they wouldn’t have used such a subjective figure as Olbermann to host their election coverage.

In a time where providing impartial cable news is dwindling, the major players are struggling to find or admit their identity. Any intelligent newser could tell that FoxNews is for the conservatives, MSNBC is for the liberals and CNN is somewhere in between. Juan Williams suffered the consequences of NPR’s stance to remain objective. Then Fox picked him up to add to their highly opinionated staff. Rick Sanchez started the trend when CNN fired him for making his bigoted claims about John Stewart. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the next to get signed by FOX. But, in FOX’s defense, at least they don’t punish their employees for towing the company line. They only seem to lie to their viewership with their infamous slogan, but stay true to their staff. FoxNews knows what sells, and that’s why they’re benefiting in the ratings. MSNBC suffers from a liberal viewership that branches out to various outlets to receive news. They’re not seeing the same results that FoxNews is.

MSNBC may not be publicly jumping on board with the current state of cable news, but they are following the trend their competitors at CNN and NPR began by punishing opinion or support. The suspension Olbermann was handed was short and nowhere near as severe has what Williams and Sanchez faced, but the message was just the same. An objective journalist is the ideal picture, but the present, realistic picture is someone that says and does what the viewers/listeners want.

The State of Cable News

Posted: October 7, 2010 in Cable News, Uncategorized

When news consumers turn on their televisions, they have many channels to choose from to get their news. Today, people have the benefit of 24 hour news networks that provide information at all times. The decision on which channel to watch usually falls on the viewer’s personal opinions. Cognitive dissonance proves to be prominent in this decision. American people don’t want to hear from people they disagree with, since their feelings will overpower their best judgement. Talking heads such as Keith Olbermann, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly thrive on the public’s desire to hear and see news the way they feel and want to. In the New York Magazine article, “Chasing Fox” by Gabriel Sherman, the trials of MSNBC and CNN are broken down and dissected.

Fox News has been leading primetime hours due to its loyal followers that only want to hear about right-wing perspectives and the failings of the current presidency. MSNBC has chosen to do the same for the left-wing. Its only problem has been the many liberals that choose to get their news from outlets that rely on facts rather than outraged individuals yelling at the camera. CNN is a different issue, in which they can’t really figure out their stance on political viewpoints.

The main goal of CNN has been primarily to be objective, yet several programs have made this distinction confusing. This is a major problem in today’s televised news. Nobody wants to watch a straight and narrow program that lacks opinion. Too many Americans don’t want to know the truth. They would rather hear that they’re ideas are the right ideas. Since the advent of journalism in America the heart and soul of a journalist should be to seek and find the truth. When the viewership isn’t even looking for the facts, it doesn’t pay for the media to aim their cable programs at providing facts. Opinions rule the cable world, so unfortunately, networks need to either master the game or face elimination.

What bothers me is the fact that Fox has taken control of this current standing, yet they still try and insult the intelligence of viewers by claiming they are “fair and balanced.” These are two terms that Fox obviously doesn’t understand, because they are the exact opposite of this ideal. If they are going to prey on the conservatives in America at least call it like it is or eliminate the presence of a slogan all together.

I am aware it is quite obvious that I lean more towards the left, but I believe that both the left and the right have some truthful things to say. It just seems that the real “truth” is located somewhere in between the left and right perspectives. Some people on cable are so outrageous with their claims and others can be more realistic. Taking either as absolutely right would be short-sighted. Thankfully though, when a major story breaks that doesn’t require opinion or interpretation, there still is a CNN to tune in to for simply the facts.