Fox News survived the end of the Roger Ailes era. In fact, so well, that those inside and outside that cable network can now mouth the meme: Roger Who?
TV Newser reports that for 2016, Fox News came out #1 in both prime time and all-day in cable networks. Its stars such as Bill O'Reilly remain trusted and even loved. Just as the nation found a father figure in Walter Cronkite, the masses are embracing the strong on-air Fox personalities.
So, what should media analysts, public relations representatives and marketers make of all this? The implications are obvious.
At the top of the list is that human beings want certitude. Fox News offers it.
Next, anti-intellectualism is growing. Sure, our Puritan ancestors founded Harvard early in the game. But, don't kid yourself, pragmatism has been the American ethos. Just try landing employment sounding like a scholar (with the exception of think tanks and maybe universities).
And, third, entertainment trumps all else, pun intended. If you are positioning and packaging corporate online training for Millennials, you better frame it all as entertainment. Mary Poppins put it simply: A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.
Meanwhile the media genius who shaped Fox News, Ailes, is probably the one in angst, worrying about what his legacy will be. Brilliant public relations can erase the recent scandal. For example, Ailes could do an amazing documentary on the medium is no longer the message. Instead, the personality is. That's a fresh interpretation of Machiavellianism. Or Tumpism. Wonkettes like Hillary Clinton not welcome.
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