A local news station in Boston has had it with the Fox brand damaging their own reputation. WFXT Channel 25 is going to change the name of its newscast to Boston 25 News–removing “Fox” entirely–following a drop in its ratings and a study that showed their audience saw the newscast as “leaning conservative.”
Fox News itself has some ridiculous shows, like Fox & Friends and The O’Reilly Factor, both of which tend to peddle not just misleading information, but also the very attitudes that make things worse, not better, in this country. For instance, on Fox & Friends this morning, Brian Kilmeade whined about conditions in immigration detention centers. But he wasn’t talking about the stunning human rights abuses. He’s upset about this:
“Get this: They’re enjoying seven hours of outdoor activity. Who gets that anymore? Fresh sheets, and absolutely — I don’t get that. No need to learn English.”
Co-host Ainsley Earhardt added:
“Seven hours of outdoor activity, freshly washed sheets, and absolutely no need to learn English. That’s the easy life of an illegal immigrant inside American jails.”
Or clean sheets have something to do with basic sanitation, but hey, they’ll think what they want here. The outdoor activity – it’s not like they’re in some Eden-like garden of paradise.
There’s also the whole controversy with Bill O’Reilly and sexual harassment, and Fox News’ failure to deal with their male employees who engage in such behavior. Billo the Clown is still on the air, and so far, Fox doesn’t seem to have done much about it.
Who wants to be associated with this crapola? WFXT is actually owned by Cox Media Group and not Fox News, but they’re still considered a Fox affiliate and the brand carries a reputation that is increasingly negative. Massachusetts is a deep blue state, and their businesses and media outlets need to act accordingly to continue reaching their audiences.
This decision is actually a few years in the making – it didn’t just happen. WFXT’s news director, Mike Oliveria, said that Massachusetts viewers want unbiased news. Fox News is decidedly not unbiased, but WFXT strives to be, as do most local newscasts. He said:
“It’s not that [Fox is] a bad brand; it’s just that it’s not ours.”
While other Fox affiliates under Cox Media’s umbrella aren’t considering dropping “Fox” from their names at this time, we have t wonder if that’s going to change.
Featured image by Spencer Platt via Getty Images