By Helen Coster
(Reuters) – Cable TV network Newsmax, promoted by former President Donald Trump while in office, is partnering with the conservative political nonprofit group FreedomWorks on a Sunday morning show, according to the two organizations.
Newsmax, which has sought to attract viewers unhappy with Rupert Murdoch’s conservative ratings king Fox News, took the unusual step of having an outside political organization lead a show.
Trump’s support helped Newsmax and smaller conservative rival One America News Network (OAN) to draw record audiences after the Nov. 3 election.
Nielsen data showed Newsmax averaged 277,000 viewers a day in December, down from post-election peaks, but up from 60,000 before the election. It remains small compared to Fox News, which averaged 1.9 million viewers per day in 2020.
Newsmax will tape the new hour-long Sunday show, “Save the Nation,” in the FreedomWorks Washington studio and broadcast at 11 a.m. ET to compete with the “MediaBuzz” program on Fox News.
FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon and Senior Economic Contributor Stephen Moore, previously the chief economist at the Heritage Foundation and a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, will host the show.
FreedomWorks is a nonprofit that advocates for smaller government and fewer taxes and played a key role in the development of the Tea Party political movement.
“We want to make sure there’s a strong pro-economy message out there,” said FreedomWorks spokesman Peter Vicenzi.
In December Newsmax Chief Executive Officer Chris Ruddy told Reuters the cable outlet planned to expand in the United States and Britain and add more weekend programming. After the U.S. election, the network refused to declare Democrat Joe Biden the winner until mid-December and broadcast debunked theories about voter fraud.
Recent Newsmax coverage has been critical of Biden’s administration. On Jan. 20 host Tom Basile described Biden’s inaugural address, in which the new president urged unity and end an “uncivil war,” as very dark, not unifying and quite divisive.
(Reporting by Helen Coster; Editing by Howard Goller)