NewsMax CEO Chris Ruddy says he doesn’t need to beat Fox News, he just needs to shave off a little of its audience. Something gives me the feeling Fox News is going to get some razor burn..
Haven’t you been just a little curious why no one has ever competed with Fox News? After all, there’s CNN, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, PBS, CBS, CNBC and a host of other liberal outlets which split up the liberal pie – why leave the other half all to Fox News?
Enter Mr. Chris Ruddy..
Hat tip Newsweek:
Newsmax, which had revenue of $104 million in 2013, up from $85 million the year before, is perhaps best known for its namesake, 200,000-circulation monthly magazine. Newsmax.com, launched in 1998, before the magazine, is the most trafficked conservative site on the Web, with more than 11.5 million visitors in January.
Christopher Ruddy, 49, the chief executive officer and founder of Newsmax Media, has taken Newsmax’s boomer audience, average age 54.7, and figured out how to sell it far more than political news. Newsmax, the corporation, is a smorgasbord of political, health, and financial information, self-help books, and even vitamin supplements pushed through the website and e-mail lists.
For the last 18 years, Fox News, led by its president, Roger Ailes, has exploited its unique slant on the news to generate nearly $1 billion in profits a year for parent 21st Century Fox (FOXA). There’s been no serious conservative competitor to Fox News, and Ruddy has never understood why. (Fox News didn’t make anyone available for comment.) “How do you have something so successful in cable that nobody else wants to imitate or cut into their market share?” Ruddy says. “It defies reason.”
This June, Ruddy plans to launch NewsmaxTV, a 24-hour cable news channel that will be, he says, a kinder, gentler Fox. “Our goal is to be a little more boomer-oriented, more information-based rather than being vituperative and polarizing,” he says.
Ruddy says he can make NewsmaxTV profitable entirely through advertising and selling Newsmax’s consumer products over the air. It’s the same business model that’s been successful for QVC, Home Shopping Network (HSNI), and numerous televangelists, but no one has tried it in cable news.
He’s quick to add that he doesn’t need to beat Fox News, he just needs to shave off a little of its audience: “If we take 10 to 15 percent of the Fox audience,” he says, “and they are making $1 billion a year, then we are going to be hugely profitable.”
Chris will be on CNN’S Reliable Sources Sunday, March 9 at 11AM EST, discussing the launch of Newsmax TV and his take on the GOP and the 2016 race.