The rise of Newsmax TV has caused a major shake-up at Fox News, which announced Monday that its early evening show host Martha MacCallum has been demoted back to an early afternoon slot, among other changes to the lineup.
“Newsmax’s consistently strong numbers during the day and especially at the 7 p.m. ET slot has caused panic at Fox, which rarely makes lineup changes,” Newsmax said in a statement Monday, adding with a wink, “The Fox is on the run.”
MacCallum’s “The Story” had long been the #1 cable news show in the 7 p.m. time slot, until Newsmax TV’s “Greg Kelly Reports” began a ratings surge in recent months.
With Kelly pulling an average of 800,000-plus viewers per minute each night, MacCallum had fallen to third place behind CNN and MSNBC.
In December “Greg Kelly Reports” beat MacCallum in a key demo, a news story broken by CNN.
Newsmax has consistently taken one-third to one-half of Fox’s audience in each day part, according to the Nielsen Coverage Rating. The Coverage Rating shows a network’s viewership proportionate to the homes that can tune in.
Last week the Nielsen Coverage Rating for 7 p.m. showed that in the crucial 35-64 demo, “Greg Kelly Reports” was pulling more than half of MacCallum’s “The Story” (.77 versus 1.53).
The Nielsen numbers tell only half the story. Newsmax streams free on most OTT platforms and Fox News does not.
Newsmax estimates the OTT viewership nearly doubles its Nielsen average viewership numbers.
Newsmax’s consistently strong numbers have caused Fox to make additional changes.
Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott Monday announced a full shift in its daytime lineup.
MacCallum will be moved to the 3 p.m. spot and replaced by new show “FOX News Primetime” with hosts to be announced. The changes will debut on Jan. 18.
Other changes include that Harris Faulkner will no longer host “Outnumbered Overtime” at 1 p.m., but will host a new show, “The Faulkner Focus,” at 11 a.m.
Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts is moving to the studio as co-anchor of a new two-hour program with Sandra Smith.
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