Newsmax is working to pull ahead of conservative rival Fox News, trying to lure away its vital booking agents with promises of higher salaries, two people who have been contacted by Newsmax tell me.
Why it matters: The battle to serve as the venue of choice for conservative viewers has intensified as President Trump has chastised Fox for declaring Joe Biden the election winner and Newsmax has pandered to his believers.
Newsmax is owned by Trump friend Chris Ruddy. The bookers — who try to land guests at a moment's notice — said they believe his network courted them because it wants to gain their contacts.
- They said several other colleagues — mostly younger Fox employees with lower salaries — also have been approached.
- A spokesperson for Newsmax did not respond to a request for comment. Fox News did not immediately provide a comment.
Background: Trump's criticism of Fox has created a parallel universe on the right, where the conservative network isn't pro-Trump enough for millions of his diehards, Axios' Sara Fischer writes.
- Newsmax is using this period to its advantage, filling its air with segments and hosts who argue the president still has a chance to defeat Biden.
On Monday, ratings for Newsmax passed Fox in the 7pm hour for the key 25- to 54-year-old demographic for the first time ever, CNN's Brian Stelter reports.