Sean Hannity Aims to Keep Opinion Out of Fox News’ Newsom-DeSantis Debate: ‘The Less of Me, Probably, the Better’

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Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis Fighting with the governor of California Gavin Newsom In the guided debate Sean Hannity? It looks like an opportunity for another round of cable-news pro wrestling.

The host hopes to keep the figure-four locks and locks to a minimum.

“Not PBS. I don’t want it to be PBS. PBS is boring, says Hannity in a recent interview at his office Fox News ChannelNew York headquarters. Still, he added, “You know what if you want a food fight? Been there, done that. no thanks. I think the format is old and doesn’t work. It is predictable. To me, ‘Why do you believe this?’ I’m more interested in. ‘Explain this to me’ How can you not watch this episode? Trying to elicit answers, smart answers from people.

For many cable-news content producers, It is based on the discussion of heads in conflict in recent years., such speech can be considered impure. And Hannity, who has risen to success over nearly three decades by calling out Democrats like Hillary Clinton and President Joe Biden for being afraid to face the media or complicit in corrupt schemes, is one of the best-known experts. He did well in the middle with his hammer-and-tong oratorical style. For example, he continues to harp on the legal problems that have dogged President Biden’s son, Hunter.

But the goals for the upcoming Nov. 30 debate, which will be televised live from Alpharetta, Ga., without an audience, are more, well, a reporter — something like News Side anchor Brett Baier or “Fox News Sunday” anchor Shannon Bram. He may aspire (Hannity has repeatedly taken to task critics that he is not a craftsman when it comes to high-profile violations of journalistic standards). “It’s like, ‘Okay, tell me why you believe what you believe? Why do you think your management philosophy is better?’ And then it’s up to the audience to decide.” Fox News preempts Greg Gutfeld’s 10 o’clock commentary schedule to give Hannity more time for the debate and half an hour for his response.

In order to keep the playing field level, Hannity said he would not use any right-wing media when using questions for the two participants. “I won’t quote a conservative text,” he promises. “I only use mainstream media sources, and I do it on purpose, because I think there’s going to be a bunch of people out there who are like, ‘Oh, this is on Fox, blah-blah-blah.’ I’ll use anything that’s out there.

Hannity is testing his ability to navigate a debate between two diametrically opposed political powerhouses at a moment when the television-news business faces some serious challenges. Cable-news audiences are among those migrating to on-demand streaming video and advertisers once comfortable with news formats. They are spending their dollars in new ways., sometimes they call for a featured host or other sponsor. Fox News parent Fox Corp. said ad revenue at its cable properties fell to $290 million in the most recent fiscal quarter, compared to $316 million a year earlier, and cited “higher availability in the direct response marketplace.” The main reason. Direct-response ads, long a staple of cable news, tend to proliferate where major marketers leave. Still, the approach of the presidential election may offer new hope: Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN are expected to show an 8.4% increase in advertising revenue in 2024. Part of S&P Global Intelligence.

Fox News Channel has clearly experimented with new concepts in recent months. Fox News’ coverage of events related to the war between Israel and Hamas has sparked prime-time talk show prequels on breaking news. Brett Baier and Martha McCallum covered President Biden’s recent 8pm address on the state of Israel, to typically conservative host Jesse Watters. Hannity, meanwhile, embraced her. Live, doing his programming a few nights each week before the in-studio audience arrives; Advertisement “Hannity” has delivered football and entertained visitors with impressions of people like former President Bill Clinton. It also hosted longer premieres between breaking news coverage.

In some ways, Hannity is an unlikely candidate to test new waters. In the year It has been on Fox News’ prime-time schedule since its launch in 1996, and its once-cherished co-stars, including Tucker Carlson and Megyn Kelly, have been snapped up. But Hannity has outlasted both of the networks and continues to garner larger audiences than his all-time rivals — Caitlan Collins on CNN and Rachel Maddow and Alex Wagner on MSNBC. He’s joined by two younger opinion hosts these days, Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld, though he’s not new to Fox News, having recently been promoted to the primetime schedule as a first-time host.

Competitors are trying new ideas to make things easier. MSNBC expanded Jane Psak’s viewThe former Biden adviser now presents Sundays and Mondays with a stentorian approach unlike some of her late-night colleagues. CNN has pushed some of its most provocative personalities during its first tenure, including Don Lemon and Brian Stater.

Hannity says it’s not going soft. “Do you have any doubts about who I voted for in the last election?” he asks. But he is open to talking to people he disagrees with. “I think I’ve matured,” he said, noting that he’s prone to “talking people down or fighting too much” with guests, citing surveys of his fans on radio and television. He puts his opening monologue in the show as a vent. “No matter what the news of the day is, I have to scratch my itch.” Still, he thinks he has “developed better skills and a greater willingness to listen.”

He got some interviews with liberal guests, including Governor Newsom and actor Sean Penn. Penn visited Hannity twice this year and was initially “reluctant to come on my show,” the host recalled, telling Hannity, “I don’t believe you,” and referring to a segment in which Hannity called the actor “an enemy of the government.”

But Hannity said he was pleased Penn decided to make a documentary about his trip to Ukraine and to stay with President Zelensky even as he was under siege from Russia. “He could have gotten the hell out of here,” Hannity said. “I respect that.” Penn Hannity did not appear on the air, but the host said, “I don’t mind if someone disagrees with me as long as they believe in it.”

Newsom and DeSantis will be tested Thursday when they collide. Can a popular Republican candidate really stand up to the challenge of stacking up against a Democrat in the race for the presidency? Newsom appeared on Hannity’s show in June for an hour-long interview and seemed to find it fair. Hannity assured the governor that he would have time to answer questions and that the exchange would not be adjusted unless it met broadcast time limits. Hannity said he could talk to Newsom in writing: “We understand that we disagree on issues.

Brett Baier, of Fox News, recently He tried to get a debate about a “special report” between three candidates for Speaker of the United States House.Representative Steve Scalise, Representative Jim Jordan and Representative Kevin Hearn. Officials spoke about what may have happened. The red-versus-blue square-plate variety DeSantis and Newsom agree on remains a rare occurrence in television-news reporting, let alone a Fox News story.

Hannity wants to delve into energy, income taxes, security and more, and thinks the concept is a natural draw. “You’re starting with two very, very bright, intelligent people, the governors of two big states,” Hannity said. “We live in a politically divided America. I can’t think of a better time.”

Indeed, the clash of opposites should be what wins over most viewers, he said. “I don’t want to be a hall manager,” he says. “The less of me, the better.” Of course, it takes half an hour to measure everything. And he has many hours to fill in the future.

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