Fox News Channel (FNC) is trying to reinvent itself in the wake of the 2012 election, and, according to New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, phase one of the network’s makeover plan has already gone into effect. Chief of programming Bill Shine, acting on orders from network head Roger Ailes, has issued an edict to the network’s bookers and producers that no one is to book Republican author and pundit Dick Morris or former GOP kingmaker Karl Rove without his permission.
“The election’s over,” a Fox spokesperson told Sherman, and the biggest losers of all, apparently, are pundits like Rove and Morris, who believed their own PR spin about “skewed” polls and the size and enthusiasm of the crowds in Ohio, and who were honestly taken aback by the results on election night.
Ailes is reportedly highly displeased with Rove. The former Nixon aide and FNC founder held a meeting on the afternoon of the election in which he urged Rove, Megyn Kelly and other on-air personnel to hold it together while the cameras were rolling.
“Guys, if things don’t go your way tonight,” he told them, “don’t go out there looking like someone ran over your dog.”
Karl Rove’s on-air tantrum when the network called Ohio for President Barack Obama may have made for riveting, historic television, but Ailes, who Sherman describes as “a canny marketer and protector of his network’s brand,” apparently would prefer to avoid such scenes in the future.