Fox Business Network recently launched The Independents, a program dedicated to the libertarian point of view on the domestic, cultural and economic news of the day. Fox seeks to capitalize on the momentum shift of libertarianism within its core audience. Hosted by MTV VJ, radio personality, and author Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, along with Reason magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Matt Welch, and entrepreneur and co-founder of the America’s Future Foundation, Kmele Foster, The Independents seek to engage audiences in a discussion of free market economics and civil liberties.
Fox Business seeks to piggyback on the success of the network’s late night sensation, Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld – a satirical round table with a loyal cult following who attributes its success to its “unprofessionalism.” The Independents, largely a spinoff of Red Eye guest panelists, hope to follow the success of other highly rated Fox programs like Red Eye, The O’Reilly Factor and The Kelly Files.
Fox has made previous attempts at drawing in the coveted 25 – 34 year old market. In 2007, Fox aired The ½ Hour News Hour as an answer to Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The 17-episode ½ Hour News Hour ended with abysmal results. The show’s contrived attempt at appearing savvy and satirical fell short; leaving critics panning the show as “heavy-handed,” “stiff” and “stale.”
The aim of The Independents is not merely to entertain or satirize, but to engage. Fox Business Network seeks to capitalize on a niche market – a unique mix of libertarians, South Park Republicans and remorseful Obama voters. For those unfamiliar with the term, ‘South Park Republicans’ are fans of the hit Comedy Central show who align themselves fiscally with conservatives and socially with liberals; who share a disdain for all things politically correct. Among the remorseful are those who are becoming increasingly disenchanted with the onset of Obamacare; suffering from sticker shock at their 2014 premium notices.
The Independents hope to spur interest in the libertarian perspective on the growing disillusionment of government intrusiveness as it pertains to NSA surveillance, IRS intimidation and over regulation of the economic, environmental and educational sectors.
As host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery put it in a recent Don Imus interview, “we are reaching out to an audience who is coming to the realization that government is not the solution to all our problems.”
If cable news ratings are any indication, Fox Business Network may have tapped into ratings gold again by reaching past their traditionally conservative audience; featuring perspectives of a more spirited, less sober-minded nature with the premiere of its libertarian voice, The Independents.