Some of you can read this headline and your reaction is “of course.” Others read it and shout “that’s insane!”
There are two main reasons why Fox News Channel stands out as the most trusted source, and one of those reasons is something that any news or media organization can learn from. The first thing that Fox does can’t easily be duplicated. Fox is different, but not just in a stylistic manner. Fox is unique in that in caters to and rewards a world view that sees the rest of the news media as ideologically and culturally hostile. Fox is catering to conservatives who actively hate the rest of the news media. As mentioned, that’s not a lesson other media outlets can duplicate, though it always pays to be distinguishable in some manner.
But the second big reason Fox is the most trusted, and a reason that others can emulate, is that they are consistent with their personnel. Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Neil Cavuto, Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, Shep Smith, what do they all have in common? Love them or hate them, they are all on every day since the beginning of the network. Fox, unlike any other TV network, is loyal to its on-air personalities and that, in turn, inspires loyalty from audience members. CNN and MSNBC are as loyal to their hosts as teenagers are to boy-bands, i.e. a couple of years max, then denial ever having known them.
Fox’s strategy has worked especially well during the last two decades given the massive upheaval in the rest of the media business. When news consumers are faced with new journalistic upstarts every day in the form of apps, Buzzfeed, digital radio etc, it’s nice to see a familiar face on a regular basis and that’s what Fox provides.
My advice to anyone in the media business, and that can range from a large multi 1000 person organization to a one person consulting firm that puts out a video blog, is this, be consistent, regular and use a familiar face. My daily news commentary videos might not generate millions of views (though there are days when my audience isn’t that much lower than MSNBC’s) but at least I try to put out new content five days a week, year in and year out.
TJ Walker creates media training video and text content for Media Training Worldwide. You can hire him for media training and public speaking training by calling 212.764.4955