Fox News Makes Promise to DeSantis
A meeting between media mogul Rupert Murdoch, owner of FOX News, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at Murdoch’s California ranch in 2020 has garnered attention for its potential influence on the network’s direction. According to reports, Murdoch assured DeSantis of FOX News’ support for his potential presidential run in 2024 during the meeting. Since then, significant changes have occurred within the network, including the firing of top host Tucker Carlson, who was popular among the Trump-MAGA crowd. These developments, coupled with a soft ban on former President Trump, have had a profound impact on FOX News and its viewership.
The Ranch Meeting and Assurances:
Vanity Fair reported that Rupert Murdoch invited Governor Ron DeSantis to his Bel Air vineyard in California for dinner, where he expressed his intention to support DeSantis’ potential presidential campaign in 2024. This meeting showcased Murdoch’s confidence in DeSantis and hinted at a shift in FOX News’ coverage and support for conservative figures.
FOX News’ Soft Ban on Trump:
As the year progressed, signs of a changing stance became apparent on FOX News. The network implemented a soft ban on former President Trump, reducing his presence in their programming and shifting their focus towards featuring Governor DeSantis more frequently. This shift in coverage aligned with Murdoch’s earlier assurance to DeSantis, indicating a strategic redirection within the network.
Distancing from Election Controversy:
Amidst the Dominion lawsuit and the controversies surrounding the 2020 election, FOX News sought to distance itself from the election narrative and Trump’s claims. This distancing was likely influenced by the impending legal battle and the need to protect the network’s reputation. Murdoch expressed regret, stating that he wished FOX News had been more assertive in denouncing Trump’s election conspiracies.
The Impact on FOX News:
Since these changes took place, FOX News has experienced a significant decline in viewership. The firing of Tucker Carlson, who had a strong following among the Trump-MAGA crowd, likely contributed to this decline. The network’s decision to implement a soft ban on Trump further alienated a substantial portion of its conservative audience. Consequently, FOX News has lost nearly half of its viewership, highlighting the consequences of these strategic shifts.