Fox News, in the midst of a ratings plummet as competing conservative networks like Newsmax TV siphon off thousands of formerly loyal Fox viewers, made another huge shakeup in the company on Tuesday.
According to the Washington Examiner, political director Chris Stirewalt found himself on the receiving end of a pink slip, as the network parted ways with him on the heels of election-related controversy.
As you’ll recall, Stirewalt took an absolute beating on social media as ticked-off Fox News viewers ripped him for making an unusually early call for then-candidate Joe Biden concerning the state of Arizona. Of course, Stirewalt’s call ended up the correct call, but his timing and insistence were so off that it would begin a domino effect of Fox News viewers turning on a number of personalities at the network.
In typical fashion, Fox News didn’t mention the controversy surrounding Stirewalt, rather, they said his firing was part of a “restructuring” at the network as they scramble to regain a massive chunk of lost viewers.
A staggering 20 additional Fox News staffers were let go alongside Stirewalt and reports indicate that other executives at the company will soon be on their way out.
At the crux of Stirewalt’s Arizona call was the fact that only 73 percent of votes had come in at the time of the call, which was quite early in the day. Critics of his call argue that making a critical call like that so early could have very well discouraged Republican voters from continuing to stand in line.
Given how close Arizona was in the final vote tally for President Donald Trump and Biden — and while we’ll never really know for sure — it’s not that much of a stretch to wonder if Stirewalt would have held off on the call, those tired and weary voters might have stayed and voted instead of going home.
The news comes on the heels of several other high-profile shake-ups at the embattled news organization, with former primetime host Martha MacCallum essentially being demoted after having been moved back to an afternoon slot — which is obviously much less desirable than where she was. Her show was also getting destroyed in the ratings, though Fox News executives have sworn that shuffling her back to the afternoon was not a demotion.
Hosts Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer were both kicked out of their solo-show afternoon slots and were moved to a morning bloc where they’ll co-anchor a new program.
On Tuesday, according to The Hill, Fox News Channel’s senior vice president and managing editor in Washington, Bill Sammon, announced that he’ll retire from the network at the end of the month.
Even as little as a few months ago, Fox News was thought to be an unstoppable force in cable news, but that changed rapidly as disgruntled viewers continue to seek alternatives like Newsmax TV and OANN.