Connect with us

BNM Writers

Chris Ruddy Turned Small Investments into Newsmax

From journalist to starting Newsmax was one big jump. Chris Ruddy said he had a wide array of people who helped him.



I’ve received calls at the house from William Shatner, Don Sutton, Don McLean, and many others. This was the first call I’ve gotten from the owner of a leading cable news channel and influential website. This was also the first call I received from a man who has a speed dial that includes former presidents, senators, congressmen, billionaires, Oscar-winning actors, and an assorted group of world leaders. Yesterday, I got one from Chris Ruddy.

Ruddy just recently returned from Ukraine. He was invited to sit down with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the two spent over an hour meeting in Kyiv.

Was Ruddy ever in danger?

There’s always risk in a trip like this, he said. 

“I have our journalists there in far riskier locations in Ukraine, so I believe I should share the risk,” he said.

As for Zelensky, Ruddy won’t overly detail what was said privately when they met. 

“He has the gifts of being extremely savvy, funny, and charismatic,” Ruddy shared. “A determined man. A man for all seasons.”

Ruddy said Fox News opposes Zelensky with Tucker Carlson repeating Kremlin talking points and Fox’s prime-time coverage “ignoring the war completely.”

“More than 40 million Americans watch and read Newsmax regularly, and I wanted Zelensky to know we stand with him and the Ukrainian people. He is fighting for us.”

Chris Ruddy is the CEO and majority owner of Newsmax. He was born right off the cusp of the Boomers and the Gen Xers. Ruddy graduated from high school in 1983.

My first question was logically about his being into MTV music videos.

“I didn’t watch a lot of those,” Ruddy said. 

“I was kind of a nerd. I was into the speech & debate team,” he chuckled.

He credits his high school debating experience with honing his skills for a career in journalism. “It forces you to look at issues from both sides.”

Ruddy, 57, grew up in the 60s and 70s. 

We talk about sitcoms and how the world has changed.

“I think the Brady’s were the first couple on television to sleep in the same bed,” Ruddy recalled. If you grew up in those days, that’s a bit of trivia you just don’t forget. Where people slept on The Brady Bunch.

He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in history from St. John’s University in 1987. He earned a master’s degree in public policy from the London School of Economics. He’s been a media fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. 

I quickly realized I was out of my depth. This guy is uber smart.

Ruddy comes from a large Irish Catholic family, something he referred to as a tribe. 

Before you ask: yes, he’s Catholic. Ruddy grew up on Long Island in a small town called Williston Park, just across from the New York City border. His father, Frank, was the lieutenant running the nearby Nassau County 3rd Precinct.

Ruddy said he spent his summers as a kid only, 10 or 11, in the precinct house’s “holding room” for those just arrested, sitting with his dad drinking Yoo-Hoos, and often talking about what was in the news.  

“I think there’s a certain mentality in a family with a father who works on the police force,” Ruddy said. “He was always wired, alert and concerned. Kind of a daily paranoia.”

Ruddy said doors on the car always had to be locked. His father faced the door whenever the family went to a restaurant.

I used to think only mob bosses did that. I stand corrected.

Interestingly, Ruddy senior didn’t like carrying a gun. 

“He was like Sheriff Andy Taylor, in that regard,” Ruddy explained, referencing the Andy Griffith Show. His father didn’t like wearing a gun because he always said cops were just civilians in uniforms. Their job was to help people. “His mission as a cop was to see that people were treated fairly.”  

Surprisingly Ruddy also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I asked him how that came about for a kid from Long Island.

“It goes back to me always being a news junkie,” Ruddy said. “I was interested in the whole conflict in the Middle East. It was always a constant discussion in my home and around New York with such a large Jewish community here. My mom always sided with the Israelis.”

While attending St. John’s, Ruddy saw an ad in The New York Times,” he said. “It said you could study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

He recalled the headline of the ad read, “Study in the center of the worlds’ great three religions.”  

“I thought that was a fascinating place. So, I looked into the school. It was founded by Albert Einstein. So I decided to go.”

An unusual destination for the son of a cop.

“My dad was a great believer in the American Dream. He didn’t expect his sons to be police officers.” 

Ruddy’s father passed away when he was 12, and he said his life was fairly self-governing after that.

“I made the decision myself to go to Israel. My mother didn’t like the idea; she felt it was too dangerous. 

“I was 19, and back then, people did things like that at that age.”

Ruddy said he went off to Israel, and it was eye-opening. “Media perceptions of Israel at the time painted it as an aggressor, and it wasn’t.”

He’s seen a lot in his career. For a journalist, that helps one gain a sense of perspective on life. 

We’re in some rather turbulent political times. According to Ruddy. The Nixon era of his childhood was comparatively mild compared to today. 

He’s also gotten to know presidents well, including former presidents Trump and Clinton. 

Interestingly, Nixon’s grandson, Christopher Cox Nixon, serves on Newsmax’s board, and Michael Reagan, Ronald Reagan’s son, is a long-time friend of Ruddy and serves as a Newsmax Contributor.

When he was just a kid, Watergate exploded on the national landscape.

“I think there was a lot of accountability and clarity back then,” Ruddy explained. “I think Nixon crossed the line. At the same time, I think he was treated unfairly. Presidents have committed acts far worse than what Nixon did.”

As a reporter for the New York Post and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Ruddy covered the Clinton White House.

Clinton handled his big Lewinsky scandal differently than Nixon, Ruddy said.

“Clinton apologized early on. He and I have spoken about it. I think he has remorse and hindsight is always 20/20. He’s been accused of not apologizing, but he did.”

Ruddy added, “I believe Bill Clinton is a true patriot; he did a number of really good things as president.”

“I’m a Reagan and a Trump conservative.” Ruddy quickly clarified his pro-Clinton statement. Ruddy is also a pragmatist. “I’m an Edmund Burke kind of guy.”

Ruddy became well-known for writing about the Whitewater case, and notably culminated in a 1997 book he wrote, The Strange Death of Vincent Foster: An Investigation.

“I was actually approached by Simon & Schuster to write a book on Foster. The capstone of my reporting on it for two years.” Ruddy said he never advocated any conspiracy theory on the death but looked carefully at the police inquiry of the case. 

From journalist to starting Newsmax was one big jump. Ruddy said he had a wide array of people who helped him.

One was Alexander Haig, who became an advisor to Newsmax in its early years. Haig had an illustrious career in the Army, as Nixon’s chief of staff, NATO Supreme Allied Commander, and later Reagan’s Secretary of State. He also was president of United Technologies and helped found AOL.

“I think Al enjoyed talking to me because I knew of, or about, almost every major figure he dealt with,” Ruddy recalled. “We’d sit for hours in the den of Everglades Island home on Palm Beach, and he’d download about Nixon, Watergate, Reagan, a lot of backstories. It helped me understand how things really work at the highest levels.”  

Regarding his journalism background, Ruddy started doing investigative reporting for the New York Post. “I was particularly interested in welfare reform and spent some time with Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, who was innovating on that. I also covered abuses in programs like Social Security disability.”

When writing his articles or books, Ruddy said he takes the same approach.  

“I pull together all the relative pieces. I look for evidence, quotations, and citations. I put numbers on things. Then I try to pull it all together. I use handwritten outlines, figure out what I want to start with, and add the numbers of my cites, where things will be inserted. Then I start typing.”

Ruddy said even today, he likes to occasionally write because it’s a release and expression of yourself. “There’s power in that,” Ruddy said. “I sort of have to wind myself up to write. Putting it all together. I tend to drink a lot of Coke as I start.”

Ruddy, like me, prefers to write with noise in the background.

“I think that’s because we both come from large families,” Ruddy laughed.

After all his successes, Ruddy said he doesn’t believe in positive reactions to things he’s done. 

“Not really,” he said. “Maybe it’s Irish Catholicism. Whatever it is, I don’t believe my own press releases. I think of what Rudyard Kipling wrote, ‘If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same.’”

Ruddy isn’t afraid to call out the state of the media.

“Journalists keep lowering values and standards,” Ruddy said. “Years ago, you would never accuse someone of lying. It’s just something you just didn’t do. If they lied, you said they ‘misrepresented’ something or provided ‘inaccuracies.’ Now you turn on the TV, and everyone is calling each other a liar. The old buffers don’t exist anymore.”

Ruddy said he is a great admirer of Rupert Murdoch, the owner of the New York Post and later Fox News. 

“He bet billions on Fox. A lot of billionaires complain about the media bias in the U.S., but Murdoch actually had the cajones to put billion-dollar chips on the table to change the media status quo here. It changed America.”

After leaving the Post in 1995, he joined the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review as a national correspondent.

Following Ruddy’s work at the paper, in 1998, he started Newsmax with a $25,000 investment from the daughter of William J. Casey, Reagan’s CIA Director. 

Along with billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, who owned the Tribune-Review, and other private investors, Ruddy raised $15 million in the initial years to start Newsmax. 

Ruddy told me Newsmax was losing money for the first three-and-half years, then broke a profit in 2001.

After a long period of running a “must read” digital website for right-of-center Americans, Newsmax transitioned to television starting in 2014. 

“I was seeing the growth of these OTT channels and thought that would be the future,” Ruddy said. “Fox News had half of the cable market, and I figured we could get some of that. Even a small percentage would put us on the map.”

And Ruddy said Roger Ailes, who was running Fox News at the time, had several meetings with him about leaving Fox and running Newsmax. 

“Even then, he wasn’t really happy with the situation there and was thinking of doing something new.” Ailes ended up renewing with Fox and then getting fired in 2016.

Despite remarkable odds, Newsmax could get carriage on every major cable system while parlaying his new TV channel as a major OTT streaming brand.

“Now we’re the fourth-highest cable news outlet,” Ruddy said, citing Nielsen. He says more than 20 million viewers tune in to the channel regularly. 

Ruddy remembers his first television hire at Newsmax television was John Bachman, a local CBS anchor in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“I think John was about 30 at the time,” Ruddy said. “He was part of a press group covering us when Sarah Palin came into the office during a 2010 visit.” 

Why Florida for corporate offices?

“Our corporate offices are in Boca Raton,” Ruddy said. “Television operations are centered at our Midtown New York offices. Ruddy said he had family ties to South Florida, but he also liked the climate, both for taxes and weather. 

 “I wanted to establish my company outside the bubbles of New York and Washington,” he said.

Ruddy said he also discovered the Palm Beach area was a winter mecca of important people from New York, Washington, and elsewhere. In addition, geography made him a convenient place to visit for powerful newsmakers.

Ruddy said when he joined Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in the early 2000s and was still in his 30s, he was one of the youngest members. 

“I’m still the youngest member of the club,” Ruddy says he likes to jokingly remind Trump. Ruddy says he sees him often and knows him very well.

What do people not know about Trump?

“I think people misconstrue his public and sometimes theatrical elements as threatening,” Ruddy said. “Whenever I introduce him to people who didn’t like him, they find him extremely likable and charming. He turns out not to be what they expected.”

Ruddy said people think Trump has no empathy. “Sure, he’s a celebrity, and he has a big ego and a sensitive one. But I have seen the personal side when he gets quite emotional about other people’s situations.”

Ruddy recalls how Trump before he became president, fought to get Amanda Knox released, a young American student who was wrongfully imprisoned in Italy for murder. 

“There was a time all he would talk about was her case, asking me to cover it. He would go on TV and radio shows telling people to boycott Italy, and he was like the only big celebrity doing this.”

Ruddy noted that Knox was released in 2011, and Trump got little credit, but he really played the major role in her release.  

As President, Ruddy recalls talking to Trump about the North Korea crisis early on.

“He was really mentally disturbed about it. He thought Obama left him this mess, and he was forced to make decisions that could mean the loss of many lives, huge casualties if war broke out.” 

Ruddy says people see Trump as a political figure, but Ruddy thinks of him as a major historical one.

“There is no political leader in human history that draws the political interest he has. What political figure in world history had this kind of engagement, tens of thousands showing at rallies, sometimes multiple rallies the same week. There’s no one who did this.”

But then Ruddy mentioned that even Mao and Hitler, and Stalin all needed the power of the state to create a crowd. “It’s not the case with Trump,” he said.

Ruddy says he doesn’t like the political extremism of either side but says the left is trying to redefine the center and are now censoring and closing down conservative viewpoints.

“I’m not a fan of CNN, but I’d never call for them to be de-platformed or shut down,” Ruddy said. “The left believes all of their facts are true and conservative ones are false just because they come from conservatives.”

Ruddy says all major social platforms – Google, Twitter, Facebook — banned any mention of Hunter Biden’s laptop; they said it was misinformation.

“Now, a year later, the New York Times and Washington Post are reporting it was Hunter’s laptop after all.” 

“It’s a dangerous thing when Google de-ranks you, de-lists you, bans you on YouTube because you have a thought about something they disagree with. Especially when they get the 230 exemption that makes them immune from lawsuits.” 

What about all the recent seismic activity from the Supreme Court?

“I think these rulings are going to stay for a while,” Ruddy said. “I don’t see this see-sawing. Democrats would have to win the White House in 2024 and keep it for years to really change the Supreme Court.” 

It may happen sometime in the future, he says. When it comes to Presidential elections, Democrats have a significant demographic advantage, he argues. 

“And that advantage will continue to grow,” he says. Newsmax is a needed antidote for the coming changes.

BNM Writers

WTAM Feels Like Home for Bloomdaddy

Bloomdaddy is a Cleveland-centric host dealing with issues-based topics in his new role and “from the minute I turned the mic on at WTAM, it felt like home.”



When I first heard of a radio guy called Bloomdaddy, my mind immediately made me think of outrageous radio personalities like Bubba the Love Sponge, Mancow Muller, and DJ Sourmilk. However, David Blomquist (a.k.a. Bloomdaddy) was nothing like them. Instead, he’s intelligent, down-to-earth, and can still hit a fastball.

I asked him what I should call him. He told me David or Bloomdaddy. (There was no way I would call a grown man Bloomdaddy. Not at this stage of my life.) So, I called him David. 

“They called me Bloomer forever,” Blomquist said. “But it became Bloomdaddy when I had kids. Pretty snazzy nickname when you think about it,” he joked. “I figured I’d use it because it was memorable.”

Blomquist went to Union Local High School in Belmont County, Ohio. Just one of many little towns that make up the large school district that is miles wide. 

“It’s amazing how far buses go to bring kids in. There were only 150 kids in my graduating class, with all the areas consolidated.

Blomquist said he’d always lived in Lafferty, Ohio. It’s a coal mining town that boasted 300 residents when he was there. He said growing up in Ohio was awesome. 

“All I did was hunt, fish, ride our four-wheelers and dirt bikes. I like the city, but at heart, I’m a gravel road and cornfield kind of guy.”

I’m a gravel road and cornfield kind of guy. That has got to be the title of a country song.

He loves gravel roads and baseball.

“I walked on to the Kent State baseball team; then I quit,” Blomquist said. “It’s still the biggest regret of my life. I was a junior in broadcasting when I made the team. I realized I was going to miss a ton of broadcasting classes, including the first few each semester. At that point in my life, I just didn’t see it making sense. Part of me figured I could reschedule some classes, but it was just something I felt I had to do. It was hard to walk away, but I was overwhelmed. But it all worked out.”

Pretty mature thinking for a young man of 19 years. “I played sandlot ball from 19 until I was 37, so I got in my fair share of ball.”

He was very good at baseball but didn’t think he would have been signed as a professional. “Even the worst guy on a professional team is one of the best players in the world. It’s hard to wrap your mind around that.”

Almost every guy I’ve spoken to for these pieces had a dream of being a professional ballplayer. Blomquist is the only one who might have come close. 

He worked as a sportscaster on television for 15 years. He also anchored a morning show. Blomquist was hired at WTAM in February after host Mike Trivisonno died last October. Since he began the gig, he has kept an apartment in the city, just two blocks from Progressive Field and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

For 18 years, his radio home was WWVA-AM 1700 in Wheeling, WV. His popular morning show grew into syndication to affiliates in Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Akron, and Parkersburg, WV. 

He spends most of the week in Cleveland, then goes home to his boys. 

The paint on the new job is still wet. Before he took it, Blomquist said he needed to talk with his sons, and get their approval. 

“I wasn’t going to take the job in Cleveland unless I got the go-ahead and okay from them,” Blomquist said.

They told him to take the job.

“That either meant they wanted me to take a great opportunity or to go away,” he jokes. “I turned down a job when iHeart asked me to go to Columbus and another time to Miami. Then the Cleveland job opened up. If the job opened up ten years ago, I couldn’t have taken it. I have a baseball family; I coach baseball. It just wouldn’t have been fair to my boys.”

WTAM 1100 is the radio home of the Cleveland Guardians, formerly the Cleveland Indians. Blomquist wasn’t even in town when they changed the name of the MLB team. 

“I’m sorry they had to change the name of the team,” he said. “I know for fact  90 percent of fans can’t stand it. But they have a great young team. I’m not holding anything against the owners, but they did give into the ‘woke’ culture. You’d go to games and only see about 25 people protesting the previous name. At the time, it seemed everybody was changing names, knocking down statues.” 

You’d think something like that would be great fodder for a radio show.

“Not for me,” Blomquist said. “We’re the flagship station of the team, so we don’t talk about that. I know my parameters. The team still let fans wear the Indians gear. They aren’t required to take anything off with the name or logo.”

Blomquist said the crazy thing about the change was the fact it was named in honor of a former Cleveland player. 

“The team was named Indians after Louis Sockalexis, a former player and a Penobscot Native American from Maine,” Blomquist explained. “Apparently, a lot of people couldn’t accept the name despite it being named in honor of a Native American. The name was literally chosen to honor the man.”

In rural Ohio, Blomquist said he had a good childhood. 

“I’d say we were lower middle class and a loving family,” he said. “The loving part has always been important to me. You learn certain things from your parents, who give you an idea of who you want to be. We didn’t have any macho images around the house. We could hug, tell each other we loved them.” 

While he’s enjoyed his career, there have been a couple of speed bumps. 

About ten years ago, Blomquist commented on the air about coal miners in an area with many coal miners. He then wrote a blog on the same comment. By today’s standards, it was tame. The people that took exception were mostly the families of coal miners. He apologized to families who were upset, but it could be seen as much ado about nothing.

“It was total sarcasm. Anybody that knows me is aware of my background. My grandfather saw his brother get crushed in a coal mine. I come from a family of coal miners.”

“It started a tirade, even though it was all tongue-in-cheek.”

How anybody could see Blomquist as anything but a supporter of miners, considering his background, is ludicrous. He couldn’t be disconnected from coal miners if he tried. Blomquist’s comments would be cleared by the censor on Sesame Street when compared to things that appear on bumper stickers focused on coal miners.

“Tons of people have a sticker on their bumper reading, ‘My husband is a coal miner. There’s another sticker that depicts a guy on all fours with his head in a woman’s crotch and reads, ‘a coal miner’s job is never done.’ My comments weren’t crass.” 

When Blomquist made the comments on the air, nobody complained because they could hear the inflection in his voice. “It was when I put it on my blog in print form; that’s when everyone thought I was serious.”

Blomquist is a Cleveland-centric host dealing with issues-based topics in his new role. “From the minute I turned the mic on at WTAM, it felt like home.”

To form his daily show, Blomquist picks the four most important topics of the day. 

“They could range from Bill Cosby doping chicks, Colin Kaepernick not kneeling, something about Deshuwn Watson, or the price of soup. I kind of mold the show around those four topics. I like to get a different mix.” 

It’s somewhat surprising he ended up on the radio at all. When he was young, Blomquist looked at talk radio as dull. He was listening to heavy metal instead of Limbaugh. He wasn’t even aware of some of the big names in the business. 

“I was filling in for a talker in San Antonio. The engineer asked who it was, and I said Joe Pags. He looked at me like he’d just seen Bigfoot. He said, ‘dude, you’re going to be on national radio. That guy is huge.’”

Blomquist wasn’t star-struck.

“We all have egos in this business, but mine is in control. I want to have good shows, to entertain. I’m allergic to manual labor. If I didn’t have this job, I’d find something else.” 

He enjoys what he does. He’s been in the media business since he was 22 and said if something happened and he was no longer on the air, he’d be okay with that.

“If this ends, I’ll be working at Dick’s saying, ‘The kayaks are over there, baseball gloves are over there.’ My job doesn’t define my life. I know I’m not that good, but I work my ass off. I’ve got a three-hour show, and I’ll prepare as though it’s five hours long. I may not be that good, but I’m prepared. The way I talk about things some people aren’t going to like. That’s the way it is. I’m not going in with false information. I’m sure some guys in my position may not believe what they say, but I’m genuine. I’m not going to say something I don’t feel.” 

Blomquist said he’s liberal with some things but certainly a conservative. That doesn’t mean he carries water for anyone. 

“The Trump days are over. I know that pisses off probably 90 percent of my audience, but so be it. I feel the way I feel.”

One personality he respects is Bill Maher. Blomquist said Maher will call out the Left as quickly as he calls out the Right. 

“I think he gets more respect because he doesn’t go with the flow. I’m not going to fluff Trump 24-7. Policy-wise, I agree with him. He’s also abrasive, has a huge ego, and is an ass. Both Trump and Hilary are up there as hated politicians. Trump is number one.” 

Blomquist said his job isn’t to change minds but to put information out there.

“I say this all the time—I’m not saying I’m right, I’m saying how I feel. I think part of that comes from growing up in a small town with bikers, farmers, white-collar workers. Even when I was on television, I hung out with the guys behind the camera.” 

What’s going to define him is what kind of adults his boys will become. Blomquist said his relationships with his sons are varied, but they’re all solid. 

“I have conversations with my eldest son, and they often turn to politics. I tell him I’ve been talking about politics all day and try to find a different topic. The middle one is like Stifler from American Pie and is going to be living with me all his life. I don’t know about the younger one.” 

Blomquist made a rule a long time ago. Brothers can and will have fights, but not in his house. 

“I’m not a browbeater, but I am a disciplinarian. If you lay down the laws early, that’s good. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to give them a whack on the ass every once in a while.”

Continue Reading

BNM Writers

Jason Rantz Knew at Early Age Radio Career Was for Him

Rantz said the industry had changed a great deal since he began as a Dodgers-focused intern.



Jason Rantz was an intern at 15, an unpaid gig at a sports station. He emailed the station out of the blue, asking if they had an internship available. 

“They told me they were developing a show about the Los Angeles Dodgers with an emphasis on kids, how they interacted with the game.”

Rantz said it was sheer luck. “I can’t imagine they were expecting me to do a lot of deep diving. I didn’t get paid; it was probably illegal,” he jokes. 

The Jason Rantz Show airs on 770 KTTH from 3-6 p.m. on weekdays. He’s worn every familiar hat since the internship. Rantz has worked on the producer and content side. From screener to producer to the executive producer of a syndicated show.

He knew radio was what he wanted from early on. 

“I saw entertainers, presenters in a very positive light. It’s all a performance. Our conversations on radio are not the same ones you’s have in real life. People are hopefully drawn to our conversations. Have a level of curiosity.”

Rantz said the industry had changed a great deal since he began as a Dodgers-focused intern.

“In 2022, you have to be able to write, get in front of a camera, carry a show every day,” Rantz explained. “It takes up a good chunk of your life. You sacrifice a lot of your personal time. I know the digital platforms we must use daily hasn’t worked out for a lot of people. Because of digital growth, you’re not longer able to just sit down and talk for three hours. People expect so much more from us now.”

Rantz said it’s about getting your brand, your message across all the time. 

“I do so much on the radio and know it won’t be heard again. It only airs once, and that can be frustrating. It won’t be impactful ever again. That’s why I think the other sources are so important.”

Rantz puts a lot of time into his show, and he develops a daily strategy of hitting home with content. He will write a piece early in the week. Then, give a unique analysis, talk about it on the air, and promote it through television and other platforms. 

“It’s what you have to do to remain successful. People need to think more holistically. Radio in and of itself is no longer the only way to succeed. You need to be involved in podcasts and video.”

If he’s talking about a similar topic on radio, then on the television, he doesn’t alter much. “You do have to tailor it a bit,” Rantz explained, “but I don’t change or edit much, don’t change the tone, delivery, or style.”

When somebody changes any one of those, Rantz said things are no longer authentic. “I’m not going to switch my whole tone to talk to a younger audience,” he said. “It would be quite annoying. A lack of authenticity will drive people away.”

Could he offer the same show in New York as he does in Seattle?

“I think the themes of my shows would translate,” Rantz said. “My philosophy of stories would be the same. My story selection and the stories I gravitate toward would be the same. If I talk about crime in Seattle, I’d do the same in New York. How it affects families, small business owners.”

How is Seattle different from a talk show perspective from Rantz’s hometown of Los Angeles?

“The people are so dissimilar. I think there is a passive-aggressive attitude here in Seattle that I didn’t experience in L.A. We didn’t have as many activists in Los Angeles. The Left is way more aggressive here. But I think that’s changing. It’s much more granular here than you might expect in Los Angeles.”

Rantz thinks geography plays a role in how people view stories, and the competition is much more rigorous in Los Angles.  

When we spoke, Rantz was preparing his afternoon show. The big news of the day was the FBI conducting a search warrant on Mara-Lago. I asked Rantz how he would approach the story later in the day.

“No different from anything else,” Rantz said. “I’ll consume as much as I can from various sources so I can explain what’s going on. Get a sense of reaction, formulate my opinions.”

He filled in for Ben Shapiro on the morning we spoke, so Rantz felt most of his preparation for his own show had already been done. 

“With a solo show, I’m able to pull clips from people I don’t agree with. I can look for a different opinion. Some I will find boring; others will generate a lot of reaction. I’ll see how it’s playing with conservatives and the liberal pundits.”

Continue Reading

BNM Writers

CBS Leads al-Zawahri Coverage

Although its weeknight evening news program regularly trails their ABC and NBC counterparts, the network led here with 4.22 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Douglas Pucci



President Joe Biden announced on Monday, Aug. 1 that al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri was killed in a U.S. drone strike operation in Kabul. Al-Zawahri and the man he succeeded Osama bin Laden had plotted the deadliest attack ever on American soil — the Sept. 11, 2001 suicide hijackings. 

The president said in that evening address from the White House that U.S. intelligence officials had located al-Zawahri at a home in downtown Kabul where he was hiding out with his family. The president approved the operation in late July and it was carried out on July 31..

The networks aired this special news event on Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. Approximately 17.1 million viewers tuned in to Biden’s address. As a slight surprise, the top outlet in coverage among total viewers was CBS. Although its weeknight evening news program regularly trails their ABC and NBC counterparts, the network led here with 4.22 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Also helping CBS was its affiliates’ usual potent syndicated programming in the 7 p.m. hour which, in most markets, is Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight. The same goes for most of ABC’s affiliates with its combo of game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune — the network was close behind CBS with 4.185 million viewers.

NBC trailed its broadcast competition with 2.84 million viewers.

Over on cable, Nielsen did not label Biden’s address as a separate telecast. Therefore, regular programming within that hour was still stated. Fox News Channel’s Jesse Watters Primetime easily led cable in the 7 p.m. hour on Aug. 1 with 2.8 million total viewers including 331,000 in the key 25-54 demographic. MSNBC’s “The Reidout” was a distant runner-up on cable news in total viewers with 1.35 million; CNN’s “Erin Burnett Outfromt” was second in adults 25-54 (250,000). As indicated in the rankings below, it was this 7-8 p.m. hour that was the week’s most-watched hour overall for CNN, and the week’s top MSNBC hour in the key demo.

As for the other news outlets: Newsmax’s Rob Schmitt Tonight drew 264,000 viewers; CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith 221,000; Fox Business Network’s Kennedy 129,000; and, NewsNation’s On Balance with Leland Vittert 62,000.

Cable news averages for August 1-7, 2022:

Total Day (Aug. 1-7 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.413 million viewers; 199,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.670 million viewers; 78,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.511 million viewers; 101,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.181 million viewers; 54,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.142 million viewers; 36,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.127 million viewers; 17,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.111 million viewers; 11,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.107 million viewers; 22,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (Aug. 1-6 @ 8-11 p.m.; Aug. 7 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 2.098 million viewers; 268,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.978 million viewers; 103,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.656 million viewers; 133,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.226 million viewers; 27,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.216 million viewers; 68,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.207 million viewers; 63,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.136 million viewers; 25,000 adults 25-54
  • NewsNation: 0.060 million viewers; 8,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.058 million viewers; 8,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top programs of other outlets with their respective associated ranks) in total viewers:

1. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 8/4/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.300 million viewers

2. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 8/2/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.298 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 8/1/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.198 million viewers

4. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 8/1/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.156 million viewers

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 8/3/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.113 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 8/3/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.112 million viewers

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 8/2/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.111 million viewers

8. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 8/4/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.995 million viewers

9. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 8/5/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.892 million viewers

10. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Tue. 8/2/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.841 million viewers

25. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 8/1/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.155 million viewers

144. Erin Burnett Outfront (CNN, Mon. 8/1/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.996 million viewers

186. Real Time With Bill Maher “Episode 607” (HBO, Fri. 8/5/2022 10:01 PM, 57 min.) 0.782 million viewers

286. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 8/7/2022 11:00 PM, 35 min.) 0.577 million viewers

329. Forensic Files II “Toxic Environment” (HLN, Sun. 8/7/2022 10:30 PM, 30 min.) 0.494 million viewers

386. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee “Episode 7214” (TBS, Thu. 8/4/2022 10:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.380 million viewers

401. The Daily Show (CMDY, Mon. 8/1/2022 11:00 PM, 33 min.) 0.358 million viewers

404. Varney & Company (FBN, Tue. 8/2/2022 10:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.348 million viewers

465. Shark Tank “Shark Tank 622” (CNBC, Tue. 8/2/2022 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.286 million viewers

551. Deep Water Salvage “(210) Savage Salvage” (TWC, Sun. 8/7/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.232 million viewers

748. Newsnation: Rush Hour (NWSN, Tue. 8/2/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.161 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs (and the top  programs of other outlets with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 8/2/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.508 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 8/1/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.478 million adults 25-54

3. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 8/4/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.465 million adults 25-54

4. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 8/1/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.438 million adults 25-54

5. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 8/4/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.428 million adults 25-54

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 8/3/2022 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.400 million adults 25-54

7. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 8/2/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.399 million adults 25-54

8. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 8/3/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.394 million adults 25-54

9. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 8/5/2022 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.374 million adults 25-54

10. Gutfeld! (FOXNC, Tue. 8/2/2022 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.369 million adults 25-54

44. Erin Burnett Outfront (CNN, Mon. 8/1/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.250 million adults 25-54

55. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 8/7/2022 11:00 PM, 35 min.) 0.228 million adults 25-54

77. The Reidout “Biden On Klng Of Al Qaeda Leader 732-739” (MSNBC, Mon. 8/1/2022 7:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.198 million adults 25-54

99. Forensic Files II “Toxic Environment” (HLN, Sun. 8/7/2022 10:30 PM, 30 min.) 0.186 million adults 25-54

117. Full Frontal With Samantha Bee “Episode 7214” (TBS, Thu. 8/4/2022 10:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.165 million adults 25-54

135. The Daily Show (CMDY, Thu. 8/4/2022 11:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.151 million adults 25-54

178. Real Time With Bill Maher “Episode 607” (HBO, Fri. 8/5/2022 10:01 PM, 57 min.) 0.131 million adults 25-54

245. Shark Tank “Shark Tank 621” (CNBC, Thu. 8/4/2022 11:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.116 million adults 25-54

583. Deep Water Salvage “(210) Savage Salvage” (TWC, Sun. 8/7/2022 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.056 million adults 25-54

790. Varney & Company (FBN, Fri. 8/5/2022 11:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.034 million adults 25-54

816. Newsnation: Rush Hour (NWSN, Tue. 8/2/2022 6:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.029 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

Continue Reading

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.