Fox News staffers thought Newsmax was a joke. They're not laughing anymore.

Producers on some Fox programs have been told to monitor Newsmax’s guest bookings and throw some sand in Newsmax’s gears by encouraging guests who appear on both channels to stop saying yes to the upstart.

According to Fox sources, producers were told to avoid some regular guests if they kept showing up on Newsmax after being encouraged to stop. Management’s goal: to remind guests who’s boss in the right-wing media world…

Inside Fox, staffers cringed at the awkward contrast between Bartiromo’s conspiratorial programming and Shawn’s straightforward interview, which rebuked the conspiracy theories.

Many Fox viewers prefer the conspiracy theories however — Bartiromo’s show had more than 1.9 million viewers while Shawn’s newscast barely averaged 1 million.

“Our audience has absolutely been radicalized,” one longtime on-air staffer at Fox said.