The Fox News Channel could soon get some competition from a brand-new network in the works that is reportedly looking to put right-leaning powerhouses such as radio’s Michael Savage on television.
The Sinclair Broadcast Group is now making new moves to lay the groundwork for the channel to take on Rupert Murdoch’s empire, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“Sinclair is speaking with both current and former Fox News personalities about joining the would-be network, which a knowledgeable source says could be led by Tribune Media executive Sean Compton,” THR reports.
The paper says Sinclair also made an overture to Savage.
On Wednesday, the radio host asked his followers on Twitter: “Should Savage do a TV show in addition to his radio show?”
The responses were overwhelmingly supportive of the idea, with some stating:
- “Dr. Savage, I would love to see you on TV. Your voice of reason is exactly what this country needs. Your radio show is the best, but you would have a chance to reach an even broader audience. I know it wouldn’t be easy to do both, but you seem to have the energy and passion!” (CaptainStu)
- “Just make sure this time that the producers and call screeners don’t sabotage you like @MSNBC did.” (Mister K)
- “As long as you have content control yes” (Practical Houstonian)
- “Maybe Obama can set you up with a Netflix deal … Don’t do it, you rule the radio!” (Anthony)
The Hollywood Reporter says one name not in the mix is former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
Sinclair, based in Baltimore, is waiting on federal approval for its purchase of Tribune Media, that would provide the company the cable channel WGN America, which could be transformed into conservative content.
Former FCC commissioner Michael Copps, an opponent of Sinclair’s $3.9 billion takeover of Tribune, told THR the company is “trying to look as nonthreatening as possible and make this deal look as innocuous as possible.”
To date, officials at Sinclair have denied whispers about a challenge to Fox News, and a spokesman declined comment on the latest report.
But Copps maintains: “Watch what they do and not what they say.”