Sometimes bad ideas turn out for the best. Fox News is literally a primetime example. Since airing in October 7, 1996, out of New York City, the station has become a dominant force among news networks. At the time, it sounded like it wouldn’t click. CNN has been around for 16 years prior to that, which was way back in 1980. They’ve been covering the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall before the internet craze began. More importantly, the first Fox employees had their doubts, too.
Objectively, Fox wasn’t going to offer anything radically new. At least on the onset, it didn’t look like they would. Yet, the entire crew was onboard, and there was no looking back.
Would you imagine primetime without Fox News? I won’t.
While there was some hesitation in the beginning from the crew, this seemed to have transformed. They are now the kind of force that glues people together for the right reasons, for shared values, and shared aspirations and providing quality news to an underserved segment of the population.
Stronger at 25
Going down memory lane, it’s amazing how the first recruits brought life to cable when sharing their memorable Fox reports. The diversity of their backgrounds make their path distinct from the normal mainstream media, too.
FACT: David Webb greets Fox News at 25, while mentioning how Rudy Giuliani helped the network sidestep the obstacles placed by Time Warner at New York.
How about fulfilled dreams? Time flies fast, indeed. Guy Benson, starting out as an intern, became part of the on-air team in 2013.
Lauren Green, who is one of the first on-air person hired by Fox, is the only full-time religion correspondent in network television. This is a nod to keeping the conservative values of America alive.
Today, Tucker Carlson is a household name for every American. He hosts the highest-rated primetime show in the third quarter of 2021, raking in 2.1 million viewers. Meanwhile, it’s an afterthought to connect MSNBC with Carlson. But before the host proved a winner at Fox, he was fired from MSNBC for low ratings. Things turned out for the better. Fox showed that it was willing to support the growth of its talents, and provide what the audience wanted: authentic reporting. Carlson did just that. As Carlson shared in his Fox vignette, reflecting on his work at Fox:
“So I had failed. I was almost 40,” he said. “I’d been given more chances than most people get by far and I had blown it. And Fox hired me and then kept promoting me, being kind to me, giving me chances. And one of the things I did right at the beginning was resolved to say what I thought all the time. Nobody has a more loyal audience than Fox.”
Supporting Conservative Values
Lauren Green, the first on-air reporter hired by Fox, recalls how the network’s support also redounds to her career.
“There was a time I considered moving on. This business is very transitory. In fact, I’d gotten some interest from CBS here in New York, but I was working on my book (‘Lighthouse Faith’) and I thought Fox would appreciate the book more than CBS would.
“And I have never once thought I made a mistake.
“I remember reading in a paper in 1996 that 80% of journalists working in news were abortion-rights supporters, and I thought, well, that’s quite skewed from the general public. How does that impact what you put in the news? I thought that was not right. Why would the people in charge of disseminating news be so skewed? Fox showed that there are a lot of people who don’t believe what a lot of journalists believe, and they’ve never had a voice, and I think Fox gave them that voice.” This is the voice which she found at Fox, a voice which recognizes the American nature and acceptance of faith.
Both Sides of the Story
The affable Steve Doocy has a strong case to make, too. His 25 years with the channel is pretty solid. Starting out as a weather reporter, he slowly made his way to the big news with ‘Fox On’ leading up to his memorable coverage of the 9/11 disaster. He swooped in the moment to cover the entire event, as he just finished an interview on a New York street with Mr. Peanut at the moment the plane hit.
“I think I am proudest of the work we did on 9/11. We were there when the first airplane hit the tower. I was outside; I had just completed an interview with Mr. Peanut, the guy from Planters, which is a complicated interview, because he doesn’t talk. I asked a couple of questions, and he did a little jaunty thing with his arms and legs. And as I’m walking in, they told me an airplane hit the World Trade Center. It was just a historic moment. And we were on the air when the first Americans went into Baghdad; nobody else was showing that.
He adds further, “In the beginning, the producers said, ‘Here’s what we’re doing. We are going to tell both sides of the story.’“I said, ‘Well, that’s normal.’ And he said, ‘You have no idea.’
“Fox has become a place where you are able to hear mainstream ideas that you do not hear much on the other channels. Whenever I go down to Florida, or I’m traveling, i always hear people say, ‘Hey, Steve, thank you for telling the other side of the story.’”