Following on the heels of upbeat year-end messages from MSNBC president Phil Griffin and CNN president Jeff Zucker, Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes emailed his staff a similarly upbeat message this week, thanking them for their hard work, and reminding them that just because they are the runaway number one cable news network, this is no time to relax.
Thanks to all of you for your skill, determination, initiative, work ethic and can-do attitudes. Now comes the hard part—as we have done every year, we need to top ourselves again. When you are #1 and pulling away, it’s difficult sometimes to maintain commitment and drive.
Because we have special people at Fox News, it has not been difficult for you. You go to work every day to win. I appreciate it and am very proud of all of you.
Happy New Year—let’s go.”
What makes Ailes’ message stand out from the other networks is that his was honest and forthright and didn’t pull any punches, whereas Griffin and Zucker glossed over the multitude of problems their networks faced in 2014 and are facing in the future.
That’s not to say that Fox News, which has been the top-rated cable news network for the last 13 years, isn’t facing some challenges of its own. They are currently locked in a carriage battle with Dish Network—which has apparently dinged their ratings a bit—but I expect that this will be resolved relatively soon as Dish has reportedly lost over 90,000 subscribers and will probably lose a lot more if they don’t agree to put Fox News back on the air.
Ailes has shown his brilliance in building and guiding Fox News to the top of the cable news heap. And based on his memo, he plans to make sure the network stays there for a very long time.