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Friday, September 10, 2010

The Fox News blondes

Megyn Kelly of "America Live" weekdays on Fox News

Poor Kim Guilfoyle. Kim is a raven haired beauty, a successful lawyer, and gets good face time on Fox News. So, why would I refer to Ms Guilfoyle as “poor Kim”? It is because she is not a blonde and blondes are a specialty of Fox News.

I have no problem with the blonde invasion of Fox. If it was just a cosmetic fix to attract male viewers, it may get tiresome but the blondes on Fox are ladies who are intelligent and know how to gather and report the news without exhibiting a “come hither” demeanor to attract male viewers. There is nothing like the combination of beauty and brains for a television news network to get their message across and Fox has both.

I grew up in the era of Walter Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley, and Harry Reasoner. They got the job done in the black and white TV era but today it’s the sizzle as much as the steak that viewers want. The Fox blondes have that sizzle but it is subtle and not overdone. It’s as though they are bland Peter Jennings reporting except they are gorgeous women.

Whether you like it or not, it’s all about ratings in the broadcast business. How does Fox continually wallop their competition at the other cable news networks? They simply have better people running the place from the top down.

Roger Ailes runs Fox News and he knows what works. It’s not like he invented smart, beautiful blondes to do the news. It’s been done before with Lesley Stahl who is now 68 and Diane Sawyer who is 65. Both ladies were beautiful and intelligent in their day (still are!) but the networks never utilized them in a way to increase their audience share.

Now that the nightly network news is fading away with uninteresting ancho*rs like Katie Couric (she is a blonde too), and weak cable outlets like MSNBC and CNN, Fox has become dominant. They are the maverick who took a chance and it has worked. They remind me of the days when ABC News was always dragging a weak third in the ratings behind NBC and CBS. They tried three ancho*rs reporting from three cities but it didn’t work. Teaming Barbara Walters and Harry Reasoner was also a mistake as they complemented each other like oil and water. I always gave them an “E” for effort though since they at least tried.

Whether you are familiar with the Fox blondes or not, I would hate to be the one who tries to
dominate Megyn Kelly, Shannon Bream, Lis Wiehl, Juliet Huddy, or Gretchen Carlson. If you were looking for a really bloody nose, seek out Laura Ingraham!

Detractors like to call Fox News “Faux News”. I love it when I read that, every knock is a boost and envy is a terrible thing. That’s too bad for them.

To leave a comment or read 32 other comments, click "Jim's az central blog" in the right column under links. You will not receive a virus. Jim McAllister writes for the Arizona Republic.

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