On Oct. 2, 2017, Fox News Channel anchor Harris Faulkner became one of five women to host her own daily hour on Fox News. Her hard work and patience during the tough times at the network paid off, and Faulkner, who joined FNC in 2005, is now the only African American woman with a daily program on one of the three major cable news networks.
Not only does she presently solo host the network’s 1 p.m. hour, named Outnumbered Overtime, but she’s also longtime co-host on the show that precedes it, Outnumbered.
We caught up with Faulkner to get her thoughts on the state of Outnumbered Overtime, one year in, as well as what Fox News HQ was like during last week’s Kavanaugh-Ford hearings, and being portrayed by Leslie Jones on last week’s episode of Saturday Night Live.
This Q&A has been slightly edited for clarity.
TVNewser: Tell me about Outnumbered Overtime, one year in. The ratings look strong. In addition to ratings, in your opinion, what’s working, and what do you want to improve upon?
Faulkner: Outnumbered Overtime began as an online extension to the then-brand new hit, Outnumbered. My goal was to turn an interactive, chat room type show into a source for news and compelling interviews. On day one of my show, Oct. 2, 2017, the nation watched a horror story unfolding in the aftermath of the deadliest shooting in US history – the Las Vegas Massacre. My executive producer, Jay Soroko and I led the Overtime team through those initial days of survivor interviews, news conferences and authorities digging for answers on a mass killer. People told us then and continue to tell us on social media and in the ratings that we are succeeding in gaining their trust and loyal viewership. I now redefine a breakout hit as something people turn to for the facts with meaningful analysis – nothing fancy about that. We just work hard to win the viewers respect and trust every single day.
Like many, you started out in local news before reaching the national level. What have you taken from that experience that you carry with you to this day?
Local news taught me to take each moment as one of extreme importance – don’t waste people’s time. Give them solid information in a compelling fashion so they will remember it and use it in their lives.
What was the scene at 1211 Ave. of the Americas like while the Kavanaugh-Ford hearings were happening? Was everyone huddled together, eyes glued to the screen? Who were you watching with? What was the conversation like?
My co-workers and I were huddled, watching and being riveted just like the rest of the nation. I could hear chatter that the testimony of both Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh were “raw, real and necessary” to the national conversation being had on his confirmation.
Is there a different vibe now at Fox News, with Suzanne Scott running the network? What has changed, if anything?
When the Murdoch family leadership chose Suzanne Scott to lead Fox News who had been at the channel for a number of years and knew inside and out, the system of winning, I was excited. In this moment of power women, I love seeing women rock!
What’s it like being portrayed by Leslie Jones on SNL?
Shocking! My daughter Bella had an early morning soccer game Sunday so, I hadn’t seen the show from the night before, until my phone blew up with texts! Then, my husband Tony noticed a few people at the game watching something. I squinted to see what they were watching and laughing about and thought, “It’s somebody dressed JUST like me from Friday’s breaking news I anchored Brett Kavanaugh. Oh my God, it’s Leslie Jones! Is that the open to show?!” Oh, she’s funny. My friends and family want me to do a cameo and pop up behind Leslie Jones, like actress Alyssa Milano popped up at the Kavanaugh hearing! For now, I will stick to my day job. Last Friday, I was blessed with an audience of more than 4 million viewers during that coverage SNL parodied.