You can’t call Fox News “fair and balanced” anymore… because they’re not calling themselves that anymore.
The cable news network is dropping its famous “Fair & Balanced” marketing slogan, according to New York Magazine — a slogan that’s been an integral part of Fox News since the channel debuted in 1996. The motto was an invention of late founder/chairman Roger Ailes, who resigned last year after a series of sexual-harassment allegations. Fox will reportedly rely on its other tagline going forward: “Most Watched. Most Trusted.”
The “Fair & Balanced” moniker was a controversial one, viewed by some as a way for the conservative-leaning news channel to feign editorial objectivity. (NY Mag‘s Gabriel Sherman calls it an example of “Ailes’ cynical genius at its most successful.”) But Ailes insisted it was a necessary guideline to fight the tide of a largely liberal media. “He would say, ‘The news is like a ship. If you take hands off the wheel, it pulls hard to the left,'” a Fox News senior producer remembers.
The move is the latest sign that Fox News is busy rebuilding its identity in the wake of Ailes’ departure, along with the high-profile exits of anchors Megyn Kelly (who left to join NBC News) and Bill O’Reilly (who was fired following his own sexual-harassment scandal).
A Fox News spokesperson confirmed that the network hasn’t used the “Fair & Balanced” slogan in external marketing or on-air promotions since August, but said “the shift has nothing to do with programming or editorial decisions.”