Opportunist’s Managing Editor Leslie Stone talks with Jedediah Bila, Eric Bolling, Tucker Carlson, Harris Faulkner, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Sandra Smith and Andrea Tantaros, co-panelists of FOX News Channel’s brand-new weekday program “Outnumbered,” about their roles on the show and which issues they are most passionate about.
What do you get when you put four savvy women and “one lucky guy” together on an hour-long TV show? FOX News Channel’s newest show, “Outnumbered,” where an ensemble of four females and one rotating male tackle the latest headlines from all perspectives. “The show combines a distinctive group of FOX talent with unique experiences and insights that will make for compelling news programming,” says Jay Wallace, senior vice president, News. “We look forward to once again pushing the envelope with the addition of this new show.”
Leading the program’s news coverage are FOX “Report Weekend” anchor Harris Faulkner and FOX Business Network’s Sandra Smith, who serve as two of the rotating panelists. The solo male panelist varies each day, and is often a prominent player in the week’s national dialogue. During each segment, the panelists assess the latest news and weigh in on the leading pop culture and relationship issues dominating the headlines that day. Additional co-panelists include: Kimberly Guilfoyle and Andrea Tantaros, co-hosts of “The Five,” and FOX contributors Jedediah Bila and Kirsten Powers.
“‘Outnumbered’ is a delicious mix of hard news topics, smart talk and a girls’ weekend in Vegas!” Faulkner exclaims. “And, if I weren’t already one of the four women devouring those wide-ranging topics, the only other place I’d have a fantasy about being would be as the dude in the middle. Let me put that a different way [Laughs] … I l-o-v-e being a woman but, the ‘hashtag (#) one lucky guy,’ as we call him, has a pretty good gig. Of course, some of the men who’ve been outnumbered have walked away from Studio D—where we broadcast live every day—looking weary from the fight, so to speak. But I think they’re faking it. Geraldo Rivera, Lou Dobbs, Dr. Keith Ablow, Brian Kilmeade, Ed Henry … all have spoken up, sparred, laughed and even gasped with us during some pretty heated discussions. And, in the end, they seem pretty impressed by our preparedness and ability to rock and roll on any political or cultural topic that pops up. That’s what I think we as women on the show each bring—that ability to bring the fire and humor to anything.”
Smith adds: “I love the excitement and uncertainty involved in hosting ‘Outnumbered.’ You never know what you’re going to get. I have a strong business background, so I love to look at the money angle of a story. I was also a college athlete, so I get feisty when it comes to talking sports. And growing up in Chicago, I like to think I bring a Midwest voice to the show.”
According to Nielsen, “Outnumbered,” which debuted on April 28, is currently delivering 918,000 viewers—167,000 in the key 25- to 54-year-old demographic segment—and, in the eight weeks since the show first aired, total viewership is up 20 percent—nearly 10 percent in the key demo. The show airs weekdays at 12 p.m. ET.
Opportunist: Eric, Kimberly, Jedediah and Andrea, what do you enjoy about being on the show?
Eric Bolling: If you watch, you’ll know that every show I’m on … I let the gals know, ‘The show is called ‘Outnumbered’ not ‘Outsmarted.’ And I got a deal with the producer … the guy segment is called ‘One Lucky Guy’ and when I’m on—he promised exclusivity—it becomes ‘Four Lucky Ladies.’
Kimberly Guilfoyle: I love the whole concept of the show—four women with strong, unique voices with one guy in the middle taking the hot seat. It really breaks free from the traditional news mold and provides viewers a new perspective on the day’s top stories.
Jedediah Bila: I love that we tackle political and non-political issues, serious and fun topics. We dig into plenty of serious news, but leave room for fun and laughter as well. I grew up in a performing arts household—my mom ran a drama school for years—so I had an appreciation for the entertainment value of good television very early on. I try to bring that to my segments every day, no matter what the topic.
I also love when hosts aren’t afraid to get a little personal with the audience, so I often share dating and family stories in the context of our segments. I also spent years in academia and have taught middle school, high school, and college students, so I bring that personal experience to our education stories, which we cover quite often.
Andrea Tantaros: I love the girl talk—especially when we get into relationship segments. Plus it’s always fun to see where and how men and women disagree on a topic.
Opportunist: Andrea, you are perhaps best known for your spontaneity and unbridled talking points, which opens you up to criticism at times. Does that ever bother you or do you tend to roll with the punches?
Andrea Tantaros: I have developed a pretty thick skin. If you’re going to be debating current events from a particular political position in the public eye, you will take some heat. And you know what they say about taking heat … if you can’t, get out of the kitchen.
Opportunist: Tucker and Eric, we have to ask … how does it feel to be the lone male panelist among a group of such strong women?
Tucker Carlson: I have a wife and three daughters, so most of the time the show feels like dinner at my house: raucous, interesting, full of insights that never would have occurred to me. I always have a great time, even though there’s never even a chance I’ll win.
Eric Bolling: Like college. [Laughs] I love being the one tenor in a big ole choir of sopranos. I really enjoy defending the ‘traditional’ male point of view.
Opportunist: What issues and headlines are you all most passionate about?
Andrea Tantaros: I spent years building a background working on campaigns and on Capitol Hill as a Press Secretary to U.S. House Leadership, so I’m most passionate when we do politics. That’s my specialty.
When you have veterans dying because they can’t get the proper healthcare, everyone in the country, regardless of party affiliation, should be concerned and passionate about fixing this problem. The Middle East is also burning and if Iraq falls we are going to see major repercussions for the U.S.—and the world—for centuries. I think it’s important to cover foreign policy, even if many people would rather hear about Justin Bieber.
Harris Faulkner: The issues that capture my sharpest attention are those which affect our freedoms as Americans at home and abroad … our military warriors and veterans and their families ... space, the final frontier ... and anything breaking that needs a calm and steady voice to deliver the tough facts. The massacre of children and faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut comes to mind. My experience put me out front in our coverage during the day, as it was breaking news. Equally challenging was navigating the racial and societal issues that cropped up during the trial of George Zimmerman and death of Trayvon Martin. Reporting the verdict late on a Saturday night for millions of Fox News viewers, I weaved my way through the breaking details and on-the-fly interviews that followed the verdict. People often wonder how I remain calm in a storm of news that’s often bursting around me in the field or the studio. One simple answer: I was raised military—born on a U.S. Army base in Atlanta—and my father was a combat pilot in Vietnam. My mom is an avid Southern cook who can definitely bring the heat in the kitchen and stay calm! Seriously, my parents taught me to never let the storm get inside me no matter what was happening.
Sandra Smith: I love talking money, politics, sports … I love it all. I am very passionate about the economy right now. Economic growth is dismal in this country, and so many people are still out of work, looking for a job, or have just plain given up. And the people who do have jobs are worried about losing them. Leading up to the midterm elections, this will be a major focus for our politicians and voters.
Money and finance was dinner table conversation at my house growing up. My dad was a floor trader at Chicago’s Mercantile Exchange and he started taking me downtown with him during summers in high school to learn the business. It was amazing to be exposed to such a high stress, high volatility environment at such a young age. Naturally, I choose to focus on business in college, and from there, I got my first job working for a hedge fund in New York. After getting to an elevated level in the trading world rather quickly, I began making appearances as a guest on financial television channels … and my television career launched from there. Bloomberg TV called, then Fox Business, and now Fox News Channel!
Eric Bolling: I am a political junkie … love to analyze what is going on in D.C. and how it affects everything we do on Main Street.
Jedediah Bila: When it comes to politics, I’m passionate about outreach to young people. They often feel ignored by both political parties and I think that’s really unfortunate. If they are the future of this country, someone needs to take the time to hear their thoughts and ideas, and have those conversations with them. I’m also really passionate about topics related to pop culture, education, freedom of speech, political correctness, personal responsibility and government overreach.
Kimberly Guilfoyle: I am most passionate about stories involving justice, legal cases and cases involving families and children. As a mother and single parent, I love that we get in depth on these stories—whether it’s a report on school lunches or parent involvement.
Opportunist: Kim, you were a city prosecutor in San Francisco and a prosecutor at the Los Angeles district attorney’s office. What was your biggest takeaway from those experiences?
Kimberly Guilfoyle: That our justice system really does work. I was privileged to work with incredible juries where I was able to see firsthand how great our justice system functions. It is really set up to hear both sides of a case and that’s what we try to do in news every day—we report and let you decide.
Opportunist: What do you consider your greatest career accomplishment?
Eric Bolling: Not strangling Bob Beckel every day… [Laughs]
Andrea Tantaros: Having two shows on Fox News is a big one. When I finish my book that will likely be a close second.
Kimberly Guilfoyle: As a teacher of special needs children, I was able to fall in the footsteps of my mother who devoted her life to working with these children—this was truly one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and allowed me to feel close to my mother by sharing her passion.
Sandra Smith: Every single day tops the day before. My new role on "Outnumbered" is a great honor. I look forward to each day!
Jedediah Bila: Building a career out of telling people what I actually believe—no talking points handed down from someone else or some organization, no nonsense, no phony defense of this or that. Agree with me or not, I go to bed each night knowing that I’ve told you what I actually think. My work isn’t perfect, but it’s honest and that’s good enough for me.
Harris Faulkner: We all have seven days a week and I work six of them for Fox News and every single day along with my husband of 11 years raising our two young daughters. I’m on a great team at home and a great team at work. I couldn’t do any of this on my own. As a recovering perfectionist, I’ve learned to say ‘no’ when I’m over committed beyond what must be done and ‘yes’ only to those things that reflect and honor my values. I’m a simple woman, so being happy isn’t complicated. My two decades covering news help me focus and study the pointed details of stories and topics, which allows me to interject the facts. But, humor aids my ability to see other people’s perspectives and that’s critical for a rich discussion, particularly on politics. God has blessed me with a gift of investigating—triggered by a sometimes ‘annoying curiosity’ according to my mom when I was a child. ‘You could make a preacher cuss with all your questions!’ she used to say. [Laughs]
Leslie Stone is an award-winning writer/editor with more than two decades of experience covering business, finance, real estate and lifestyle issues for newspapers, magazines and online publications. Originally from Virginia, she currently resides in Florida. Follow her on Twitter at @lescstone.
“Outnumbered” - http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/outnumbered/index.html
Follow “Outnumbered” on Instagram - http://instagram.com/outnumberedfnc#
“Outnumbered” Video Clips:
Couples not talking credit scores - http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/outnumbered/index.html#/v/3603530004001
Bar Controversy of gender price differences - http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/outnumbered/index.html#/v/3607348417001
Marriage sabbaticals to avoid divorce - http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/outnumbered/index.html#/v/3621527007001