February 26, 2021

Fox News Fires a Key Player in Its Election Night Coverage

Fox News declined to comment on the departures; Mr. Sammon’s retirement was previously reported by The Hill. In addition to their exits, roughly 20 Fox News digital journalists were laid off on Tuesday. The network attributed the layoffs in a statement to a realignment of “business and reporting structure to meet the demands of this new era.”

Executives at Fox News — the profit center of Rupert Murdoch’s American media empire — have been concerned by a postelection drop in ratings, a slump that has persisted for two months as upstart rivals like Newsmax gained viewers by featuring fringier fare that embraced Mr. Trump’s baseless theories about electoral fraud.

Prominent conservative pundits at Fox News who supported Mr. Trump, like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, remain popular and are tied to the network under long-term contracts.

Fox’s corporate leadership has been scrutinizing the news division, which is led by Jay Wallace, the president and executive editor of Fox News Media, according to a person with knowledge of internal discussions. Fox News’s daytime news programs, which often feature conservative guests but are helmed by anchors who do not report to the network’s opinion side, have experienced a sharp loss in viewership.

Mr. Stirewalt appeared on Fox News several times on election night and the days afterward. He vigorously defended the network’s early call of Arizona, even as anchors like Martha MacCallum grilled him about the decision; other TV networks did not call Arizona for Mr. Biden until days later. On Nov. 4, asked on-air about the Trump campaign’s baseless claims of fraud, Mr. Stirewalt memorably replied, “Lawsuits, schmawsuits. We haven’t seen any evidence yet that there’s anything wrong.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/19/business/media/fox-news-chris-stirewalt-trump.html

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