As far as I can see, the most likely outcome in the weeks and months to come is that Fox allows Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and other uncritical supporters of the president to continue denying the result of the election while Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, and other news-oriented personalities inhabit the reality-based community. Everyone calling for the network’s pro-Trump contributors to jump ship are fooling themselves. One America does not have $25 million a year to pay Hannity, and Fox has nothing to lose by allowing him to spend the next half decade or so emulating his MSNBC counterparts by insisting that the most recent presidential election was illegitimate.
In the short term, I think it is possible that some Trump supporters will turn to Fox’s competitors in the hope of finding their suspicions validated. But in six weeks, certainly in six months, it seems to me unlikely that millions of viewers who are accustomed to Fox’s winning combination of right-wing bias and slick production values will adjust their viewing habits on a permanent basis. One America is the right-wing cable equivalent of Wayne’s World. Like Newsmax, it is not the future of a post-Trump conservative movement but a relic of the Obama era, when conservative media was well-funded and expansive. Even if Trump were to sign an exclusive contract to host a program with either of these networks — which is unlikely: he will want to promote his $100 million memoir on 60 Minutes and spar with CNN personalities once again — it would not be enough to make a dent in Fox’s share of the market. The limited evidence available suggests that gains made by Newsmax supplement rather than detract from Fox.