As media icons are falling like flies all around, at least one major media player is making a move in the opposite direction. Conservative radio host Mark Levin is adding another notch in his media belt with a regular weekly program on Fox News. According to advance reports, the program will be called “Life, Liberty & Levin” and is planned to debut this coming February, Sundays at 10 p.m.
Speaking to CNN about the announcement, Levin said he found the offer very enticing.
“The format will be long-form interview, where we discuss philosophy, history, economics, and the constitution as they relate to current events and the state of the nation…”
Levin said his guests may not quite be household names, but they will be who are “consequential” in the appropriate fields. That might be considered a departure from Levin’s popular topical radio program, where he rails on certain subjects to the delight of his many fans.
The move by Fox is the second recent decision to give a popular conservative radio host their own TV program. It was announced a few months back that Laura Ingraham would get her own show as well, also in a weekly 10 p.m. time slot.
It’s a smart move by Fox, at least on paper. The network is reeling after a year of major PR blows, and big losses to their long-time lineup. Megyn Kelly left for another network. Bill O’Reilly was ousted amid sexual harassment claims … and the entire news network was shaken by the departure and death of Roger Ailes.
By bringing in big names with huge and dedicated fan followings, Fox more than hedges their bets in an increasingly volatile TV marketplace. Younger viewers are leaving TV for streaming media in droves. But older demos are sticking, and that’s good news for Fox.
Levin’s new timeslot is not necessarily considered prime real estate, so it’s not a huge risk for Fox. Until Levin’s show airs, they have simply been re-running their Sunday morning news program.
Levin is expected to bring a good deal more than a fan base to the network. A former official attached to the Reagan White House, Levin has a longstanding connection with conservative politics in America, an “in” that he has leveraged extremely well to compete in the big leagues of extremely competitive talk radio.
Fans of Levin’s radio show and his streaming channel CRTV can rest easy. The host plans to keep all that going too. If he can make this program work in its less than desirable time slot, Levin had a tremendous opportunity to fill an even larger void in the Fox lineup.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States