After Ailes and O’Reilly, Fox News’ risky evolution

Nothing lasts forever—not even, apparently, the ratings and revenue primacy of the Fox News Channel, especially in the confounding Age of President Trump.

For the No. 1 cable news and opinion outlet, still immensely profitable at the start of its third decade for parent company 21st Century Fox (an estimated $1.65 billion in operating income for 2016), the media landscape has become a tricky territory laced with minefields and other perils.

The three moguls at the top of the empire, 86-year-old Rupert Murdoch and his fortysomething sons Lachlan and James, must figure out how to navigate this new world and ensure the survival of their golden-egg-laying goose.

It’s a world that doesn’t include Fox News’ creator, Roger Ailes—who died in May at age 77, a mere 10 months after scandal forced him from the throne—or its tent-pole prime-time personality, Bill O’Reilly—another scandal casualty—while the channel’s evening programming schedule has necessarily undergone a hasty makeover.

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