Fox News could soon have some new competition on its hands.
Shari Redstone, vice chair of CBS and Viacom, is "quietly exploring a plan to launch a conservative TV outlet meant to square off with the Fox News Channel," The Hollywood Reporterwrote Tuesday.
Amid this exploration, the Reporter reports Redstone has been speaking with current and former Fox News personalities, including Megyn Kelly, who departed Fox in January 2017 to join NBC News, where her show was later canceled; Kelly will return to Fox with an interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight Wednesday. Redstone has also met with President Trump in the White House in recent weeks.
A spokesperson for Redstone denied the report, and a spokesperson for Viacom did as well. Redstone's spokesperson did, however, confirm she met with Trump.
An existing Viacom channel could be potentially be rebranded into this conservative network, the Reporter says, though further details about the reported plan are unclear. This is all coming as Trump continues to rail against his once beloved Fox News, telling his supporters in August, "we have to start looking for a new News Outlet."
Amid these complaints, the Reporter writes that "Redstone sees an opening as the audience for TV news grows older and more conservative and Trump and some of his fans express disenchantment with ratings giant Fox News." Redstone reportedly sees Fox as having "gone crazy." Brendan Morrow
The Democratic National Committee has decided it won't let Fox News be a "media partner" for its 2020 primary debates, DNC Chair Tom Perez told The Washington Post on Wednesday. Perez talked to the network about televising a debate, but ultimately decided its "inappropriate relationship" with President Trump wouldn't allow for a "fair and neutral debate," he said in a statement.
The announcement comes days after Jane Mayer's story of "the revolving door between Fox News and the White House" was published in The New Yorker. Mayer's reporting details how Fox News' messaging shaped the Trump administration's agenda, and vice versa. It also describes the Trump administration's close relationships with current and former Fox News executives and stars, and cited sources who said the network gave Trump questions ahead of his 2016 debate with Hillary Clinton. Perez specifically mentioned Mayer's story in his statement about the decision.
The DNC has 12 debates to divvy up among networks, and had already given slots to CNN and MSNBC/NBC as of Monday, per The Hollywood Reporter. Conservatives continued to push the DNC to allot a debate to Fox News, while liberals slammed the committee for "even considering" it, The Daily Beast writes. Kathryn Krawczyk
Update 5:00 p.m. EST: Fox News in a statement said: "We hope the DNC will reconsider its decision to bar Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism, from moderating a Democratic presidential debate." The network has also denied The New Yorker's reporting that Trump was given debate questions in advance.
The Taiwanese manufacturer's pledge to build a Wisconsin plant and create upwards of 13,000 jobs seemed on the outs earlier this week. But after a talk with President Trump on Friday, CNBC reports the company has reinstated its plans — sort of.
In mid-2017, Trump made a very big fuss about Foxconn's deal to build a $10 billion LCD screen-manufacturing plant that would be three times the size of the Pentagon. It planned to hire 13,000 employees, mostly factory workers, in exchange for $3 billion in government tax breaks and other economic subsidies. But trouble seemed to be brewing as locals questioned just how much Wisconsin was shelling out, as detailed on Gimlet's Reply All podcast. Foxconn later said last year that it would reduce the size of its Wisconsin factory.
Then this week, CEO Terry Gou revealed the company may be trashing the plant plans altogether, or at least shifting the promised manufacturing jobs to researcher and engineering jobs. That prompted a direct conversation between Gou and Trump, with the president later sharing "good news:" Foxconn would build a Wisconsin factory after all. Still, it's unclear just how big that facility will be, how many jobs it will create, and just what those jobs will be. Kathryn Krawczyk