Home Featured Story Fox News: The House That Rupert Built

Fox News: The House That Rupert Built


FOXTraversaCoverFox News Channel, known by most as Fox News, is a cable and satellite news television channel that is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox. As of August of last year, some 97,186,000 American households received the Fox News Channel.

The channel, which broadcasts primarily from studios at Rockefeller Center in New York City, was created by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch hired former NBC executive Roger Ailes as its founding CEO. It launched on October 7, 1996, to 17 million cable subscribers It grew during the late 1990s and 2000s to become the dominant cable news network in the United States.

Fox News Channel has long been accused of promoting conservative political positions, and it has been widely criticized for biased reporting. Commentators, news anchors, and reporters at Fox News Channel have responded that news reporting and political commentary operate independently of each other and have denied any bias in news reporting.


In May 1985, Australian publisher Rupert Murdoch announced that he and American industrialist and philanthropist Marvin Davis intended to develop “a network of independent stations as a fourth marketing force” to compete directly with CBS, NBC, and ABC, through the purchase of six television stations owned by Metromedia. Two months later, 20th Century Fox announced that Murdoch had completed his purchase of 50 percent of Fox Filmed Entertainment, the parent company of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. A year later, 20th Century Fox earned $5.6 million in its third fiscal period, in contrast to a loss of $55.8 million in the third period of the previous year.


Prior to founding FNC, Murdoch had gained experience in the 24-hour news business when News Corporation’s BSkyB subsidiary in England began Sky News Europe’s first 24-hour news channel in 1989.

With the success of his fourth network efforts in the United States, experience gained from Sky News, and the turnaround of 20th Century Fox, Murdoch announced in 1996 that News Corp. would launch a 24-hour news channel on cable and satellite systems in the U.S.: “The appetite for news ― particularly news that explains to people how it affects them ― is expanding enormously”, the Associated Press reported.


roger ailesIn February 1996, Murdoch asked former NBC executive Roger Ailes to start Fox News Channel after he left cable channel America’s Talking (now MSNBC). Ailes told Murdoch he would need five months of work, and several weeks of rehearsal shows before its launch on October 7, 1996.

At its debut 17 million households were able to watch FNC, however it was absent from the media markets of New York City and Los Angeles. News coverage during the debut day consisted of 20-minute, single-topic shows ― such as Fox on Crime or Fox on Politics ― surrounded by news headlines. Interviews featured facts at the bottom of the screen about the topic or the guest.

Fox News debuted with a lineup of anchors that included Neil Cavuto (Your World with Neal Cavuto), Tony Snow (Fox News Sunday), The Schneider Report with Mike Schneider, The O’Reilly Report (1996–98, with Bill O’Reilly, continued as The O’Reilly Factor 1998–), The Crier Report (hosted by Catherine Crier), and Hannity & Colmes (1996–2009, now Hannity).

The morning news and celebrity gossip program Fox & Friends debuted in 1998, and Glenn Beck achieved ratings success with his talk show (2009–11), which showcased Beck’s penchant for theatricality.

The Fox News Network lineup was joined by The Five (rotating during the week among Bob Beckel, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Juan Williams, Andrea Tanteros, Eric Bolling, Dana Perino, and Greg Gutfeld), On The Record with Greta Van Susteren (who came from CNN), and The Kelly File (with Megyn Kelly).

The network’s roster of high-profile Republican commentators has included 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, former speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, 2008 presidential contender Mike Huckabee, and 2012 presidential contender Rick Santorum. Oliver North, who rose to fame during the Iran-Contra hearings in the 1980s, and former representative John Kasich, who would be elected governor of Ohio in 2010, also hosted shows on Fox.

To accelerate its adoption by cable providers, Fox News paid systems up to $11 per subscriber to distribute the channel, according to author Richard Katz. This contrasted with the normal practice, in which cable operators paid fees for programming.

From the beginning, FNC has placed heavy emphasis on visual presentation. Graphics were designed to be colorful and distinctive; this helped the viewer to grasp the main points of what was being said. On-screen text summarizing the position of the interviewer or speaker, and bullet points were used when a host was delivering commentary. Fox News also created the “Fox News Alert,” which interrupted its regular programming when a breaking news story occurred.

#2During the September 11, 2001 attacks, Fox News was the first news organization to run a news ticker on the bottom of the screen to keep up with the flow of information that day. The ticker has remained, informing viewers about additional news which reporters may not mention on-screen and repeating news mentioned during a broadcast. It has proven popular with viewers, and has been adopted by other news channels.


Introduced in December 1995, the Fox News website features the latest coverage, and columns by FNC television, radio and online personalities. Video clips are also available on Foxnews.com and Foxbusiness.com.

In September 2008, FNC introduced a live streaming segment to its website: The Strategy Room, designed to appeal to older viewers. It airs weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and takes the form of an informal discussion, with running commentary on the news. Regular discussion programs include Business HourNews With a View and God Talk. In March 2009, The Fox Nation was launched as a website intended to encourage readers to post comments on the news. Fox News Mobile is the portion of the FNC website dedicated to streaming news clips formatted for video-enabled cell phones.

With the growth of FNC, the company introduced a radio division, Fox News Radio, in 2003. Syndicated throughout the United States, the division provides short newscasts and talk radio programs featuring personalities from the television and radio divisions. In 2006, the company also introduced Fox News Talk, a satellite radio station featuring programs syndicated by ― and featuring ― Fox News personalities.


When Time Warner bought Ted Turner’s Turner Broadcasting System, a federal antitrust consent decree required Time Warner to carry a second all-news channel in addition to its own CNN on its cable systems. Time Warner chose MSNBC over Fox News as the second news channe. Fox News claimed that this violated an earlier agreement. Using its decision to keep its U.S. headquarters and a large studio in New York City, News Corporation enlisted the help of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s administration to pressure Time Warner Cable to transmit Fox News on a city-owned channel, according to the New York Times.

turnerA lawsuit was filed by Time Warner against the City of New York, claiming undue interference with (and inappropriate use of) the city’s educational channels for commercial programming. News Corporation countered with an antitrust lawsuit against Time Warner for unfairly protecting CNN.

This led to an acrimonious battle between Murdoch and Turner, with Turner publicly comparing Murdoch to Adolf Hitler. Murdoch’s New York Post ran an editorial questioning Turner’s sanity. Giuliani’s motives were also questioned, since his wife was a producer at Murdoch-owned Fox station WNYW.

In the end, Time Warner and News Corporation signed a settlement agreement permitting Fox News to be carried on New York City cable systems beginning in October 1997, and on all Time Warner Cable systems by 2001.


tantgarosAndrea Tantaros is co-host of FOX News Channel’s The Five (weekdays 5-6PM/ET) and is part of a rotating panel on FNC’s Outnumbered (weekdays 12-1PM/ET). She joined the network as a contributor in 2010.

On The Five, Tantaros is one of seven rotating co-hosts who discuss a variety of topics, including the top stories of the day, pop culture and politics.  OnOutnumbered, Tantaros is part of an ensemble featuring four female panelists and one rotating male that tackles top headlines.

In addition to her role at Fox News, Tantaros served as host of the national radio talk show The Andrea Tantaros Show from 2012-2013, and wrote a syndicated column for the NY Daily News. She served as communications director for former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, and helped former National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Thomas Reynolds secure a re-election victory during the 2006 election cycle.

Tantaros served as press secretary to Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she was responsible for helping craft and execute the media strategy for the Republican majority. She also worked for former Reagan pollster Richard Wirthlin, and as deputy press secretary to former Congressman Patrick Toomey.

beckelBob Beckel currently serves as co-host of FOX News Channel’s (FNC) The Five (weekdays 5-6PM/ET). He first joined FNC as a contributor in 2000 and rejoined in 2011 as co-host of The Five.

On The Five, Beckel is part of a rotating ensemble of FOX personalities who discuss, debate and at times debunk the hot news stories, controversies and issues of the day. He is also a columnist for USA Today. Additionally, Beckel contributed to FNC’s 2014 New Year’s Eve special, All-American New Year, live from Times Square in New York City.

Previously, Beckel worked for the U.S. State Department from 1977-1980, where he served as the youngest Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Carter Administration. Beckel acted as the national campaign manager for former Vice President Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign, where he oversaw the successful race for the Democratic nomination.

bollingEric Bolling currently serves as co-host of FOX News Channel's The Five. He also serves as the host of Cashin' In, an analysis program on FNC's weekend business block, The Cost of Freedom. Bolling joined the network in 2008.

On The Five, Bolling is one of seven rotating personalities who discuss, debate and at times debunk the hot news stories, controversies and issues of the day. Additionally, he serves as a commodities contributor to both FNC and Fox Business Network (FBN), specializing in the economy. Previously, he served as host of FBN's Follow the MoneyHappy Hour as well as FoxNews.com's Strategy Room. Prior to joining FBN, Bolling was an original panelist on CNBC's Fast Money.

Before embarking on a television career in business news, Bolling was an independent trader based out of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) specializing in crude oil, gold and agricultural commodities. Bolling also served on the NYMEX's Board of Directors for five years, and subsequently acted as a strategic adviser there.

susternaGreta Van Susteren joined Fox News Channel in January 2002 as the host of the prime-time news and interview program, "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" (7-8 p.m. ET/PTweekdays). "On the Record" is the highest rated cable news program in that timeslot.

While at FOX News Channel Van Susteren has covered a wide range of high-profile court cases including the trials of Scott Peterson and Michael Jackson as well as the trials following the death of Anna Nicole Smith. While covering the disappearance of Natalee Holloway from Aruba, she secured an exclusive interview with the father of a leading suspect, Paul van der Sloot, which led to his detainment as a suspect in the disappearance.
Van Susteren provided on-site coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre, including hosting a one-hour special where she interviewed students, families and others directly affected by the shootings.

Prior to joining FNC, Van Susteren served as host of CNN's prime-time news and analysis show, "The Point with Greta Van Susteren." She also co-hosted the network's daily legal program, "Burden of Proof." Van Susteren joined CNN in 1991 as a legal analyst. During her tenure with the network, contributed analysis to high-profile cases including the O.J. Simpson criminal and civil trials and the Elian Gonzalez custody battle. She also played an integral role in the legal analysis of CNN's coverage of Election 2000, for which she earned the American Bar Association's Presidential Award for Excellence in Journalism.

hannitySean Hannity currently serves as host of FOX News Channel's Hannity (weekdays 10-11PM/ET). He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York.

Hannity's program offers a mix of news, commentary, guest interviews and branded segments such as #AskSean, during which viewers have the opportunity to send in questions via Twitter or Facebook for him to answer.

Throughout his career, Hannity has secured interviews with numerous key newsmakers and political figures, including then-President George W. Bush, then-Vice President Dick Cheney, Reverend Jesse Jackson and then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich as well as an exclusive interview with George Zimmerman. For 12 years he co-hosted Hannity & Colmes with Alan Colmes..

This year Hannity traveled to Israel to speak with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the Israel/Gaza conflict, and reported live from Texas while touring the border with Gov. Rick Perry.

Known for his provocative style and free-wheeling commentary on politics and the American agenda, Hannity has become one of the most popular radio personalities nationwide. As host of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show, syndicated to more than 500 stations and heard in all of the top 50 markets, he has a loyal listenership of 13.5 million. Hannity is currently ranked No. 2 in Talker Magazine's Top 100 Talk Host in America and was listed as No. 72 onForbes' "Celebrity 100" list in 2013. In October 2003, Hannity received two NAB Marconi Radio Awards for Network Syndicated Personality of the Year and is a three-time consecutive winner of the Radio & Records National Talk Show Host of the Year Award.

guilfoyleKimberly Guilfoyle currently serves as co-host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The Five  (weekdays 5-6PM/ET) and as part of a rotating panel on FNC’s Outnumbered(weekdays 12-1PM/ET). She joined FNC in 2006 as a legal analyst.

On The Five, Guilfoyle is part of a roundtable ensemble of FOX personalities who discuss, debate and even debunks the hot news stories, controversies and issues of the day. On Outnumbered, Guilfoyle is part of a panel of four female panelists and one rotating male that tackles top headlines from all angles and perspectives. Additionally, she appears regularly on The O'Reilly FactorHannity, and other programs, and occasionally hosts FoxNews.com Live.

Prior to FNC, Guilfoyle served as a legal analyst for ABC News and was featured regularly on ABC's Good Morning America. She has covered major legal cases, including O.J. Simpson, Scott Peterson, JonBenet Ramsey, Natalee Holloway, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson.

Before a career in broadcast television, she served as an assistant district attorney at the San Francisco and Los Angeles District Attorney's Offices. As managing attorney of the trial division in San Francisco, she was co-prosecutor in the case "People v. Noel and Knoller," a second-degree murder trial involving a dog mauling, which received national and international attention and was chronicled on NBC'sDateline, A&E's American Justice, and, most recently, on Animal Planet's  Animal Witness.

kellyMegyn Kelly currently serves as anchor of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The Kelly File and is based in New York. She joined the network in 2004 as a Washington-based correspondent.

Ranked as the number two program in cable news, The Kelly File focuses on late-breaking stories as well as in-depth investigative reports along with newsmaker interviews. The program capitalizes on Kelly's skills as a former litigator and provides a platform to discuss developing angles as events unfold, while embracing a stronger social media presence.

Previously, Kelly anchored her own two-hour solo program, America Live and co-anchored America's Newsroom alongside Bill Hemmer.

During the 2012 political season, Kelly served as co-anchor of FNC's America's Election HQ alongside Bret Baier. In that role, she and Baier led the network's election night coverage, an evening which delivered a record-breaking 12 million plus viewers and finished first among cable news and only second among broadcast. Additionally, Kelly contributed to the network's coverage of the 2008 presidential election and 2010 midterm election.

huckabeeMike Huckabee joined FOX News Channel in 2008 and currently serves as the host of Huckabee.

Huckabee is a weekly political commentary program filmed in front of a live studio audience in New York City. The show, which focuses on top issues of the week, has featured many political and celebrity guests including First Lady Michelle Obama, former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and actors Robert Duvall, Edward Norton and Bradley Cooper.

Previously, Huckabee hosted The Mike Huckabee Show on Cumulus Media Networks, which began in April 2012 and ended in December 2013. Prior to his media career, he served as the 44th governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007, acting as one of the youngest governors in the country at the time. He was elected to a full four-year term as governor in 1998, attracting the largest percentage of the vote ever received by a Republican gubernatorial nominee in Arkansas, and was re-elected to another four-year term in November 2002. Huckabee was first elected lieutenant governor in a 1993 special election and was elected to a full four-year term in 1994. He was the fourth Republican to ever be elected to a statewide office since the Reconstruction Era.

cavutoNeil Cavuto serves as senior vice president, managing editor and anchor for both FOX News Channel (FNC) and FOX Business Network (FBN). Cavuto anchors FNC's Your World (weekdays 4-5 p.m. ET) and Cavuto on Business (Saturdays 10-10:30 a.m. ET). He also is host of FBN'sCavuto (weekdays 8-9 p.m. and 11 p.m.-12 a.m. ET). Additionally, Cavuto oversees business news content for both networks.

Prior to joining FNC, Cavuto anchored and hosted more than three hours of live daily programming for CNBC, including the network’s highest-rated show, Market Wrap. He also served as a contributor to NBC’s Today Show and NBC News at Sunrise. Previously, Cavuto was the New York bureau chief for PBS Television's Nightly Business Report and Washington bureau chief for Investment Age Magazine.

Cavuto has covered a variety of business and political stories, including the 9/11 attacks, the 2008 financial meltdown, the 1987 stock market crash and both Persian Gulf Wars. He has reported firsthand on the economic policies of American presidents since Jimmy Carter and covered major corporate scandals from Enron to Tyco. In fact, Cavuto’s live prison interview with former Tyco Chief Executive Dennis Kozlowski was a business television first.

oreillyBill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 14 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York.

The Factor, as most people call it, remains an unequaled blend of news analysis and investigative reporting dropped into what O'Reilly reminds viewers nightly is "The No Spin Zone."

After five best-selling non-fiction books and his memoir, O'Reilly has been focusing on writing about history. "Killing Lincoln" was his first book, followed by "Killing Kennedy;" both which sold millions and topped the New York Times best seller list. The History Channel adapted "Killing Lincoln" into a movie (and DVD). It was such a hit that the same was done for "Killing Kennedy," starring Rob Lowe in the title role, with a release (November 2013) to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the assassination.

Meanwhile, after extensive research O'Reilly also completed, and released, "Killing Jesus," which reveals new details about Jesus' life, and chronicling the events leading to his death.

Additionally, O'Reilly writes a syndicated weekly newspaper column, along with personal television appearances and "Keep It Pithy," which is based on his love of language, and his frequent plea to those of you who write to him.

palinSarah Palin first made history on December 4, 2006, when she was sworn in as the first female and youngest governor of Alaska. In August 2008, Senator John McCain tapped Palin to serve as his vice-presidential running mate in his presidential campaign, making her the first woman to run on the Republican Party's presidential ticket.

Palin is a contributor for FOX News where she offers her political commentary and analysis across all FOX News platforms, including FOX Business Channel, foxnews.com, and FOX News Radio. She also participates in special event political programming for FOX Broadcasting.

She is the author of The New York Times best-selling books "Going Rogue: An American Life" (November 2009) and "America by Heart" (November 2010) and was named to TIME magazine’s 2010 "100 Most Influential People in the World" list and Barbara Walter's "Ten Most Fascinating People" list two years in a row. She was the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute's 2012 Woman of the Year. She was also the host of the 8-week documentary series "Sarah Palin's Alaska" on TLC.

During Palin's first year in office, three of her administration's major proposed pieces of legislation passed—an overhaul of the state's ethics laws, a competitive process to construct a natural gas pipeline, and a restructuring of Alaska's oil valuation formula.

To eliminate waste and make government more accountable and transparent, Palin sold the governor's private jet, eliminated the governor's private chef, increased accessibility to the governor's office, and put the state's checkbook online.

Palin is past chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multistate government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety, and the environment. She also served as chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Natural Resources Committee, which was charged with pursuing legislation to ensure state needs are considered as federal policy is formulated in the areas of agriculture, energy, environmental protection, and natural resource management.