Monday, August 29, 2005

Ailes Takes Over Local Fox Stations

As blatantly partisan as the Fox Network News is, at least you might think that your local newscast does a halfway decent job. Not anymore, if you live in a city with a Fox O&O (owned and operated).

Local television stations are not all owned by the networks. Some are owned by other companies that make deals with networks to run their programming, and are called affiliates. They may also run syndicated programs (like Oprah or Jeopardy, which are not related to any network), as well as their own local programs, like a CrimeStoppers show or something. Some have no network affiliation, so cannot run the high-rated shows that networks provide, and rely on locally produced crap (like Gimme the Mike), syndicated programs, and old movies and TV shows. Then there are O&Os which are owned by the networks and run their programs.

In all cases, if any news is run, it is local news. The News Director determines the general tenor of the news, what types of stories are covered, what the emphasis is on. News Directors are answerable to the bosses who own the station, not to the networks who are affiliated with the station.

Now, in the case of Fox O&Os, the man behind the tenor of the national Fox News will have more direct control over local broadcasting.

Observers believe that Ailes will strengthen the ties between the high-performing Fox News Channel and the stations group, particularly in the top dayparts of the morning and 10 p.m. newscasts.

On Monday, Ailes said the announcement is another way News Corp. is trying to improve synergies among its units. That includes expanding the logistical capabilities, allowing local producers quicker access to news feeds, among other things.

Expect heavier eye makeup, snide asides about "liberal" topics, and lots and lots of pseudo-patriotism.

(via News Blues subsc. req)

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