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by Carl Limbacher and NewsMax.com Staff
One such embarrassing story is the big success of the Fox News Channel.
Started by Rupert Murdoch in 1996, the network was the subject of media derision and scorn. It was, after all, challenging 24-hour news titan CNN, Ted Turner's baby.
Murdoch said CNN had, like the big networks, veered too far to the left.
Media veteran Roger Ailes was tapped to head the fledgling Fox News Channel, with a mission to bring more balance to news reporting.
The Fox News motto summed up the mission: "We report. You decide."
The Murdoch strategy has worked.
Americans are turning off biased media, and news outlets like Fox News are reaping the benefits.
In the past ten years, ratings for nightly newscasts on the big three - ABC, CBS and NBC - have fallen almost in half. That's an incredible drop.
Cable networks like CNN benefited, at least for a while. But now viewers are tuning away from CNN.
Ratings for CNN have been plummeting. CNN's overall ratings for this year compared to last year have fallen an incredible 30 percent.
There's lot of hand-wringing in CNN's Atlanta headquarters. CNN big shots are blaming their ratings fall on the news hype over Lewinsky and Kosovo that boosted last year's ratings.
Ted Turner is reportedly in convulsions over CNN's woes as Time Warner merges with AOL.
Turner is right to worry. His executives may offer excuses, but if there is no Lewinsky or Kosovo this year, why are Fox News Channel's numbers way up?
According to first quarter Nielsen's, while CNN and MSNBC saw rating drops, Fox News ratings actually gained a significant 11 percent.
Fox News success has been more startling considering it is carried by fewer cable networks around the country. CNN can be viewed in 78 million homes, MSNBC in 55 million and Fox News in 47 million.
Despite that fact, Nielsen reports that Fox News has more households tuned each night than MSNBC (229,000 households watching Fox, 217,000 MSNBC). Fox has had two prime-time hits, "The O'Reilly Report" and "Hannity & Colmes."
Fox has only about a third of the viewers of CNN at any given time. But when one considers that Fox News is only accessible by just over half of all cable homes, Fox News' numbers are not only awesome, they show the upstart could topple CNN if it had the same penetration of cable homes.
Consider, too, that CNN has 4000 employees working 37 bureaus. Fox has just 1000 employees and a handful of bureaus. According to American Journalism Review, Fox is saying it should turn a profit this year