Saturday, May 20, 2017

At Fox News, Another Prominent Host Is Fired, and Another Week of Tough Headlines

Bob Beckel, second from left, with other hosts of “The Five” on Fox News. The network fired Mr. Beckel on Friday for making a racially insensitive remark to a black co-worker. Credit Fox News Channel.
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM and EMILY STEELMAY 19, 2017

For Fox News, it was another unkind week in an unkind year.

The network’s founding chairman, Roger E. Ailes, died on Thursday, sending a shock through a newsroom still reeling from a string of harassment scandals, lawsuits and high-profile departures. The threat of a federal investigation into the network’s financial practices has lingered.

And on Friday, another prominent on-air personality was abruptly tossed. Bob Beckel, a co-host of the prime-time talk show “The Five,” was fired after an African-American employee accused him of making a racially insensitive remark.

The drumbeat of tough headlines has taken a toll on morale at Fox News, with employees on and off camera describing a feeling of being under siege.

And after years as the undisputed king of cable news, Fox News ranked third in prime-time this week among the 25-54 age group most important to advertisers, finishing behind its rivals MSNBC and CNN. In total audience, MSNBC edged out Fox News in prime-time on three nights, an unsettling sign for an evening schedule scrambled by last month’s exit of Bill O’Reilly.

(More here.)

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