05
Dec
11

The profit motive: it works, bitches

Gabriel Sherman reports that Fox News is moving towards the center in its coverage of the 2012 election:

Why bother? Partly as a preemptive measure against CNN. While CNN has slipped again to third place in the cable ratings race, Fox recognizes that the network still poses the biggest threat if it gets its act together. During the 2008 election, Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer surged to the top of the ratings for their respective time slots and CNN scored wins on big news events. Since then, CNN has flailed and ratings have dived. But CNN’s brand remains powerful at big newsmaking moments — and presidential elections are about as big as they get. Which partly explains why Fox wants to distance itself from the overt championing of tea-party politics that defined its post-2008 coverage of Obama. Dominating as much of the election as possible means appealing to viewers beyond the conservative base and being perceived as a credible news outfit.

(Emphasis added.)

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