President Trump called into Shannon Bream's Fox News @Night show Wednesday night, after his latest campaign-style rally, this one in Erie, Pennsylvania, but Fox News did not broadcast the rally itself. Fox News also stuck with its usual nighttime lineup on Tuesday night, even as Trump gave shout-outs to the hosts during his unaired speech in Council Bluffs, Iowa — even C-SPAN cut away for other news. (MSNBC and CNN mostly stopped broadcasting Trump's rallies months ago.) Republicans are getting worried that with the midterms less than a month away, Trump "is losing a prime-time megaphone to his base," Politico reports.
A senior White House official told Politico that officials planned "to look into" Fox News deciding to cut away from presidential rallies, suggesting that Bill Shine, the White House communications director and former Fox News president, would get in touch with his former colleagues. But Politico already did that, and the answer seems to be a combination of low ratings, the repetitive and scripted nature of Trump's speeches, the loss of revenue from commercials, and some discomfort with handing over the network's prime time to the president, even a simpatico president like Trump.
Fox News still streams Trump's rallies online and shows highlights after the fact, but with so many of them and subpar ratings, "they don't want to give up so much prime-time real estate," a person familiar with Fox News' decisions tells Politico. "They're going with the route they think will give the best ratings performance." Trump, as a "massive consumer of the media," might "be disappointed" if Fox News drops his beloved rallies completely, a source close to Trump added. But this is really a "huge loss on the state and local level for Republicans, because they're certainly not going to get any of that on other cable networks." Peter Weber