Ed Driscoll

Number Four Has A Fourth Network Just Waiting For Him

Betsy Newmark looks at the quiet success of Brit Hume:

Brit Hume’s evening news show on Fox is must-see viewing for me. In fact, I tape it regularly if I’m not going to be able to watch it in real time. And, it seems that viewers agree.

The steady creep to the top for Brit Hume’s nightly Special Report on Fox–not just the No.1 Washington-originated cable show but also the fourth in all basic cable at 6 p.m.–has the host eyeing the next victim. “We’ve been having a series of meetings here about how we can beat Nickelodeon,” he says. “We just hope that they don’t put SpongeBob SquarePants up against us.” Fun aside, Hume’s hourlong mix of news and debate now reaches 1.5 million nightly while dominating the key 25-to-54 age demographic. And it happened in a very un-Fox-like way: without fanfare, even though Hume has recently surged to the No. 2 spot among all cable news shows, after Bill O’Reilly.

Of course, 1.5 million on cable is nothing compared to what the three network news shows bring in. Those liberals who bemoan the conservative takeover of the media and point to Fox don’t know how to count. Still, it is lovely to have a news show that is intelligent, informative, and also maintains a sense of humor about politics. Congratulations, Brit. As a member of the “key” demographic, you’re tops with me.

I realize there may be scheduling issues with the local nightly news shows produced by their individual affiliates, but as I wrote a year and a half ago, there’s a slam dunk opportunity awaiting the primary Fox Network if they want to craft a nightly news show around Hume.