Greta Van Susteren, who abruptly left Fox News last September after 14 years at the network, appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show on Thursday, appealing to her Fox fans to follow her over to her new MSNBC show, which starts airing on Monday evening.
“I think that the MSNBC audience is going to like me. I hope the Fox audience comes over here,” Van Susteren told Maddow. “I want to do a good job for MSNBC. I want to do a good job so you’re proud of me, my colleagues are proud of me and most of all I want to do a good job for the viewers.”
That’s all well and good, but will the same type of guests that appeared on Van Susteren’s Fox show appear on her MSNBC show?
“Do you think those Republican connections that you made, the Republican guests you’ve been able to book, up to and including the President-elect, do you think they will still want to talk to you over here?” Maddow asked.
“I certainly hope so. I think they’re going to come over here. I’m going to give them a fair shake, I’ll give Republicans a fair shake, I’ll give Democrats a fair shake.” she replied.
Van Susteren, who spent 10 years at CNN before bolting to Fox News, is certainly the type of “name” that NBC News chairman Andrew Lack has been seeking to bolster the MSNBC lineup. Her more right-leaning viewers will likely be a stumbling block in building an audience at a network where the liberal viewpoint dominates.
Just like with her former colleague Megyn Kelly, who announced this week that she was leaving Fox News for NBC, any expectation that a significant number of Fox News viewers will abandon the conservative network to follow either Kelly or Van Susteren to their new homes should be immediately dismissed, as television viewers are creatures of habit and are far more likely to stay put and watch their replacements.
In the case of Van Susteren, her replacement, Tucker Carlson, has vastly improved on her ratings—so much so that he will now replace Megyn Kelly in the coveted 9 p.m. prime time slot—while Martha MacCallum takes over at 7 p.m., as Fox continues to draw from a very deep bench.
Carlson may not achieve Kelly-like ratings, but he will be a solid performer with a lead-in from Bill O”Reilly, and will be followed by Sean Hannity.
Van Susteren’s return to television is more like a comedown than a comeback, considering that she will now be working for the No. 3 cable news network, which will probably only fall further behind Fox News now that the election is over.