A battle over right-wing media bookings is playing out as Fox News reportedly tells guests to not appear on Newsmax

Azmi Haroun
  • New reporting by CNN alleges that Fox News higher-ups are asking guests not to appear on Newsmax, its cable TV rival.

  • Newsmax's ratings have exploded after the election as it offers its viewers false hope that President Trump may yet win re-election.

  • The move suggests that Fox — though still far ahead on its ratings — is getting nervous about Newsmax's ascendancy.

  • Fox News did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment, but denied to CNN that there was any such directive from management.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

An intense rivalry over guest appearances and TV ratings is brewing between Fox News and Newsmax, according to CNN.

Fox News sources told CNN that producers are now monitoring guest bookings on Newsmax, and pressuring guests who appear on both channels to stop going on Newsmax.

Fox News denied to CNN that there was any directive from management for guests to stop appearing on the competing network.

Business Insider has contacted Fox for comment as well.

Newsmax told CNN that the pressure from Fox was indeed real. Its CEO, Chris Ruddy, accused Fox of an "anti-competitive violation" by trying to block guests.

CNN cited Fox News sources responding with the words "Welcome to the big leagues."

Ratings figures show that Fox is still far ahead of Newsmax, a far smaller operation.

Nonetheless, since the election Newsmax has seen its ratings explode, while President Donald Trump and his allies have encouraged their supporters to abandon Fox.

One Newsmax evening host, Greg Kelly, has seen his viewership increase from 80,000 viewers before the election to over 800,000 a day, the week after the election.

Part of Newsmax's appeal is that, unlike the vast majority of outlets, is has not called the 2020 presidential election.

According to the network's reporting, there is yet hope that President-elect Joe Biden's victory will melt away and that Trump will take another term.

Insider and other outlets called the race for Biden a few days after Election Day, citing his leads in swing states that consolidated further in the days since.

Trump has cheered on the rise of Newsmax while attacking Fox. On Tuesday, the president tweeted Newsmax's unverified online poll asking "Should President Trump concede to Biden?" to which over 90% of the respondents answered "No."

Trump's new attacks on Fox News have been echoed by supporters too, who chanted "Fox News Sucks!" outside the Maricopa County election center on November 4, a reference to the network's contentious early call that the state would vote for Biden.

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