It’s no secret that Fox News hasn’t exactly been portrayed as the best place for women to work lately.
Beginning with former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson publicly accusing former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes of sexual harassment last year, a number of top executives at the conservative-leaning cable network, as well as Bill O’Reilly, host of the No. 1 rated program in cable news, and Eric Bolling, a popular commentator who appeared on “The Five” and later “Fox News Specialists” lost their jobs.
Other Fox News personalities, besides Carlson, made similar sexual harassment claims, resulting in a tumultuous year for Fox. More than a year after Carlson’s initial claims against Ailes, Fox News announced the latest addition to its brand new prime time lineup, and the move is pure public relations genius.
Fox News announced earlier this week that conservative radio host Laura Ingraham would take the 10 p.m. ET slot. Just days later, it announced that the network’s justice correspondent, Shannon Bream, would sit in during the 11 p.m. ET hour. The debut of these two new shows will follow “The Story,” hosted by Martha McMallum, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” and “Hannity.” That means that of the five shows during Fox News’ prime time lineup, three of them are hosted by women. Coincidence?
In no way am I a suggesting that Fox News named Ingraham and Bream as hosts simply because they are women. Both are incredibly talented individuals who earn ratings and, at the end of the day, that’s what Fox wants. But it would be naive to suggest that the fact that these individuals are women never crossed Fox News executives’ minds, given the public relations nightmare it has experienced over the last year and a half.
Fox News wants to assure its viewers that women who work there are valued just as any male employee is valued. This latest move proves that not only does it value women as people, it also rewards their professional accomplishments.