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Cable Technology Feature Article

March 18, 2013

One America News Looks to Usurp Fox News' Corner on Conservative Cable

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

Long has Fox News enjoyed its status as the conservative cable news network. As in, the only conservative cable news network. But its hegemony is about to be challenged via a new entrant from Herring Broadcasting. The media firm expects to launch a national cable news network called One America News beginning, fittingly, on the Fourth of July. Tagline: “Your Nation, Your News.”

Herring Broadcasting is also the owner of the right-wing publication the Washington Times, and the new network will rely on the latter as its primary source of news and analysis. Broadcasts will originate from a TV studio adjacent to the paper’s newsroom. Of course, just as Fox is “fair and balanced,” the new network bills itself first as a source for “credible news and thoughtful analysis,” rather than a conservative outlet for Rush Limbaugh-esque vitriol.

One America News Network will provide Americans a new, credible source for national and international news and investigative reporting as well as talk shows designed to foster an independent, cutting-edge debate about the policies, issues and solutions facing the country,” said Robert Herring Sr., CEO of Herring Broadcasting, in a statement announcing the network.

Execs say the channel, despite its conservative roots, will focus on presenting the issues without bias from the host—a tactic that it says will set it apart from Fox as well as MSNBC and other liberal-focused networks. “It is getting really hard to find just the reliable, credible, fact-based news with substance,” said Charles Herring,  president of Herring Broadcasting and subsidiary Wealth TV, during the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Image via The Hollywood Reporter

He elaborated in an interview with The Daily Beast, “The news used to be you would confirm your source multiple times, you would report the fact, and you would leave it up to the viewer to determine what we should or should not do. That is missing,” said Herring. “Cable networks, many of them, have blurred the line between delivering the news and information and delivering the personal views of the host. Nothing wrong with either one, but we just believe that they should be separated, and we are going to do that.”

However, its intent to take on Fox News is clear in its proclaimed aim to target “viewers with self-described independent, conservative and libertarian values,” Robert Herring said. He noted that One America will add another, much-needed prong to the marketplace of ideas for the right-leaning contingent.

“Fox News has done a great job serving the center-right and independent audiences. But those who consider themselves liberal have a half dozen or more choices on TV each day from which to get their news,” he added.

The theme of exposure was also taken up by Charles Herring, in the Daily Beast interview. “With only one outlet, if you happen to be an independent or a libertarian, or you are on the outside, you only have one platform right now, which is Fox,” he said. “There just isn’t enough time in the day to have those voices heard. I see us as opening up another front, another platform.”

The content will be more somber than what’s typically found on Fox, he added, catering to viewers who are “a little more educated, looking for substance with their news.”

The tie-in with the Washington Times will help the channel do just that, Charles Herring concluded. “The Times is an authoritative voice on policy, politics and national security news in Washington, and it provides our network a powerful reporting and analytical capability to help our viewers make sense of developments in an increasingly complex and polarized capital city,” he said. “We’re excited to have reporters, editors and commentators from Ralph Hallow to Emily Miller, who can whisk into the studio from The Times’ newsroom and provide real-time, trusted reporting and credible analysis on the pressing issues of the day.”

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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