Who is David Rhodes? Fox News mulls Obama advisor's brother for CEO as network changes strategy post Trump
Fox News, long thought of as a propaganda machine for the Trump administration, is now finding that it may want to pivot its focus in the wake of falling ratings. The news channel, popular with right-wing viewers for its distinctly conservative and Republican bent, lost a large number of viewers after declaring Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential elections. Now, the news organization is considering some big changes, including hiring a new CEO to help with the shift. Many viewers felt betrayed by the news site, which since 2016 has largely been a beacon for pro-Trump sentiment, after Fox News declared Biden's presidential win. Many of its viewers still believe in unproven widespread voter fraud, and that Donald Trump should have won the election on November 3. Fox News head Rupert Murdoch has had to take a hands-on approach to bringing the channel's ratings up. According to the Daily Beast, the current Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott's job is in danger, as well as Fox News President Jay Wallace.
Much of Fox News' pro-Trump audience have shifted to rival channel Newsmax. In addition, Fox has faced historic losses against CNN and MSNBC in terms of ratings. Things have been going downhill for Fox ever since the November election. MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, especially, has repeatedly trounced Fox News anchor Shawn Hannity. On the evening of January 13, during the Trump impeachment voting session, Maddow had 4.7 million viewers to Hannity's 3.3 million.
What's even bigger news than the potential firing of Scott, however, is who Fox News is intending to hire next. According to the Gateway Pundit, the news organization is considering David Rhodes, the brother of Ben Rhodes, who was an advisor to the Obama administration. David Rhodes has served as the president of CBS, until 2019, and is also the youngest network news president in the history of American television. In May 2020 he began to work for News UK, the British division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. His hiring could indicate two things about Fox News' new direction. Either the channel is hoping to attract more left-wing viewers with a more moderate tone, or it's attempting to attract a much younger audience.
Murdoch, who will be turning 90 this year, has been working harder than ever to find a way to keep ratings up. Though the media mogul had been spending much of last year in the United Kingdom, he has flown in to the United States to take a more hands-on approach to management, aided by his son, Lachlan Murdoch. Both Murdochs are reportedly unimpressed with how things are being handled from the business end of Fox News, and are unhappy with having to take such an active interest in proceedings. "I mean, Rupert got involved with the shuffling of the lineup, so that’s never a good sign for someone in charge,” a current Fox staffer told The Daily Beast. “What is the point of having a manager running your business if you have to run the business yourself?"
A Fox Corporation spokesperson said, “Your premise is wrong. It is wishful thinking by our competitors,” but an insider within the organization said, "Rupert re-taking the reins is a sign of the gross mismanagement to date."