“There’s normalization going on,” one Newsmax insider noted to The Daily Beast. “By mid-summer, Fox will be on top again. I’m watching Newsmax drift lower.”
The source added that “Trump gave them a moment” but what Newsmax now needs to do is “to hire talent with real names that audiences know.” Another insider, meanwhile, expressed pessimism over whether Ruddy can turn the ship around and truly be long-term competitive with the major cable-news stations.
“I’ve said this for a while that [Ruddy’s] over his head on financing,” said the source familiar with the situation, adding: “But when you put all these pieces together—this is a big operation, he’s hired a lot of people, there’s a lot of turnover. The advertising thing hasn’t changed dramatically in his favor. The ratings are down. He’s paying cable operators” for carriages on their systems—in contrast to Fox, which charges cable operators a subscriber fee.
The month of March has been even less kind to Newsmax.
Having already seen its 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. average total audience (the network’s peak day part) dwindle from 509,000 in January to 405,000 in February, Newsmax is only drawing 308,000 total viewers in March—an additional decrease of 24 percent.