Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Big Changes at Fox News

The changes at Fox News have been dramatic. In the last two weeks the network has seen additions, substrations, and complete reworks. Some faces and names that we have grown to know are no longer anchors and seem poised to play supportive roles in the future.

TVNewser has learned beginning Monday Live Desk with Martha MacCallum will be expanded to two hours, airing from 1-3pmET. MacCallum will also be getting a co-anchor and a new set. Trace Gallagher joins as co-anchor, while continuing to fill in for Shepard Smith on Studio B and Fox Report. Also starting Monday Live Desk will originate from the FNC newsroom.

America's Pulse anchored by E.D. Hill goes away, but Hill stays with the network in a capacity to be determined. Hill has been with FNC since 1998. She co-anchored Fox & Friends for several years before moving to the 11 am ET hour, then launching America's Pulse.
Live Desk
debuted in September 2006 replacing Day Side, which morphed into Fox network's The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet.

> More: TVDecoder's Brian Stelter says the FNC changes will also effect the the network's 5 pm ET hour, once occupied by John Gibson and Heather Nauert.

Not mentioned in the MediaBistro article is the very recent addition of Laura Ingraham to the Fox News Channel Network line up. Here's a quick assessment of the network's changes:

* I'm disappointed by the departure of E.D. Hill. Smart, articulate, and attractive, she was always a pleasant part of the show's line up. She was always considered the network's "liberal", but her roots were solid and her analysis strong. I'll be interested to see how she is utilized.

* John Gibson. John is an old school Conservative and with a slightly less than current style, I wasn't completely surprised by his departure. I do think we will see him again though, in different capacities.

* Fox Live Desk. This show has undergone some major changes and seems to be a TV version of what people experience on video platforms on the Internet. When you watch, you have a primary screen and three small screens on the side addressing different stories. Everyone knows that people have been trying to move the TV to the web, this appears to be an attempt to do the exact opposite. I have only scene the new format once, but my initial assessment is positive.

The proverbial "puzzle box" with all the network's pieces has certainly been shaken. It will be interesting to see how the format changes will fair when it comes to the single most important thing in media today -- ratings.
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Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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