Greta Van Susteren says she just couldn’t stay away from the immediacy of cable news.
For the past several years, Van Susteren, one of the few anchors who can say they’ve been employed by CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel, has worked as a political analyst for Gray Television and done a show for Voice of America. Now she is set to return to the grid as the leading presenter on the 6 p.m. hour for conservative outlet Newsmax.
“Gray was really fun, but here’s the big difference – there’s really no such thing as live news,” Van Susteren said. Variety. Gray let her terminate her contract so she could take the new job, she says.
Mediaite previously reported that Van Susteren was in talks with Newsmax. She hosted a Newsmax debate earlier this month between Pennsylvania candidates for the US Senate.
Van Susteren is the latest in a line of personalities to join Newsmax who previously cultivated a following at Fox News. Eric Bolling, former Fox News host, is also at Newsmax, as is James Rosen, former Fox News Washington bureau chief. Van Susteren’s new program, “The Record with Greta Van Susteren” (her Fox News program was called “On The Record” and her MSNBC show was called “For The Record”), will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14. . Newsmax will move Sean Spicer to a new timeslot and may make other scheduling changes to accommodate, according to a network spokesperson.
Van Susteren says she’s not interested in prime time. “It’s opinion time,” she jokes, noting that with her legal background, she’s keen to stick to the facts. “I’ve been successful in getting Republicans and Democrats on my show, regardless of my network. I like to leave the opinions to the opinion people. It’s a better time for me.
Some on-air Newsmax products have been challenged. The company is grappling with defamation lawsuits from voting technology companies Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, both of which accuse Newsmax of spreading false statements about the companies’ role in the 2020 election, which was asserted as a victory for President Joe Biden. The companies also sued Fox News and OAN. “Neither Newsmax nor its hosts have embraced voting software theories like other network hosts have,” Newsmax said in a statement. “We believe neutral reporting privilege applies and we will prevail.”
Van Susteren says she can’t name one network she’s worked for that hasn’t had its share of controversy. “I don’t think Newsmax has a monopoly on that,” she adds.
Newsmax continues to hire presenters who are likely known to its viewers as it competes with much larger companies. Newsmax is expected to generate $41.4 million in 2022, according to Kagan, a media research unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence, compared to nearly $1.17 billion for Fox News, $757.4 million for MSNBC and $699.5 million for CNN.
Van Susteren intends to dedicate her new hour to stories that meet her strengths in legal analysis and foreign travel, but knows she needs to grab the attention of a mid-American audience. “Why should anyone in Appleton, Wisconsin care?” she asks, referring to her hometown.
Van Susteren has tackled hot topics since the days of the OJ Simpson trial. Her work as a legal analyst for CNN on this very event led her to host two different programs there. In 2002, she moved to Fox News Channel, where she anchored a prime-time program, then a 7 p.m. His arrival at MSNBC in 2017 was touted by Rachel Maddow, but executives felt his early-night schedule trailed rivals in other media.
What does she think of how cable news has changed since she left? She sees a lot more opinion programs and thinks the recent pandemic has kept anchors in their studios rather than going out and seeing country life. “It makes a difference,” she says, when a presenter can see a debate or issue up close and on the ground. “I’m curious and I love stories. I’m fascinated by it and I think it sells to viewers.
She has entered into what she believes to be an unusual deal with Newsmax. She decides what should be on her show. “I am 100% independent. If you don’t like the show, don’t call Chris Ruddy,” she said, referring to the network’s top executive. “You call me. I’ll take total blame.