Fox News On The Hunt For Hispanic Audience

By Alex Weprin Comment

In an interview with The New Republic, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes talks about the network’s effort to grow its Hispanic viewership.

“The fact is, we have a lot—Republicans have a lot more opportunity for them,” Ailes says. “If I’m going to risk my life to run over the fence to get into America, I want to win. I think Fox News will articulate that.”

A number of Fox News hosts, most notably Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, have tempered or changed their views on immigration in recent months, and Fox News Latino, the company’s Latino-targeting English-language website, continues to grow. Ailes says that they may add a 24-hour video stream to Fox News Latino.

“The contributions being made by Latinos are extraordinary, and we need to talk about them,” Ailes says. The Fox News Latino stylebook uses “undocumented immigrant,” and the site downplays immigration stories compared with some of its rivals. “Fox News Latino has a mission to point out the positives of the Latino population, operating within the framework of making America great,” Ailes says.

Not stated is the increasing competition Fox News Latino is facing. Latino-focused media is the fastest-growing segment in TV. While Univision is the clear leader in Spanish-language programming, NBCUniversal is planning to beef up the Telemundo channels, which are its top competition. Univision and ABC News are launching a new, English-language cable news channel targeting Latinos later this year, while CNN is getting into the game with CNN Latino, a programming block the cabler is producing for local stations.

In other words, when it comes to Latino-first programming, Fox News is the underdog.