Greta Van Susteren says she just can’t stay away from the immediacy of cable news.
In recent 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 about to go back online as a 6pm presenter for the conservative Newsmax news agency.
“Grey was really fun, but here’s the big difference – there’s really nothing like live news,” says Van Susteren Diversity. Gray cut her out of her contract so she could take the new job, she says.
Mediaite previously reported that Van Susteren was in talks with Newsmax. Earlier this month, she moderated a Newsmax debate between Pennsylvania candidates for the US Senate.
Van Susteren is the latest in a line of personalities joining Newsmax, who previously built an audience at Fox News. Eric Bolling, a former Fox News anchor, is also with Newsmax, as is James Rosen, a former Fox News Washington bureau chief. Van Susteren’s new show The Record with Greta Van Susteren (her Fox News show was called On The Record and her MSNBC show was called For The Record) will air Tuesday, June 14 at 6 p.m. Newsmax will move Sean Spicer to a new timeslot and may make other schedule changes to accommodate this, according to a spokesperson for the network.
Van Susteren says she has no interest in being in prime time. “This is opinion time,” she quips, noting that, with her legal background, she strives to stick to facts. “I was able to get Republicans and Democrats on my show regardless of my network. I like to leave the opinion to the opinion people. This is a better hour for me.”
Some Newsmax on-air products have been challenged. The company is facing defamation lawsuits from voting technology firms Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, who are accusing Newsmax of making false claims about the companies’ role in the 2020 election, which was confirmed as a win for President Joe Biden. The companies have also sued Fox News and OAN. “Neither Newsmax nor its hosts have embraced theories about the voting software like other network hosts have,” Newsmax said in a statement. “We believe that the neutral reporting privilege applies and we will prevail.”
Van Susteren says she can’t name a network she’s worked for that hasn’t been controversial. “I don’t think Newsmax has a monopoly on that,” she adds.
Newsmax continues to hire presenters, which its viewers are likely to be familiar with, as it competes with much larger companies. According to Kagan, a media research unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence, Newsmax is expected to generate $41.4 million in 2022, 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 live up to her strengths in legal analysis and foreign travel, but knows she needs to get Central American audiences to pay attention. “Why would anyone in Appleton, Wisconsin care?” she asks, referring to her hometown.
Van Susteren has been dealing with hot topics since the days of the OJ Simpson trial. Her work as a legal analyst for CNN on that very event led her to host two different programs there. In 2002, she moved to Fox News Channel, where she hosted one primetime show and then one at 7pm. Her arrival on MSNBC in 2017 was touted by Rachel Maddow, but executives felt her early-night show fell short of her rivals on other news outlets.
How does she feel about how cable news has changed since she left? She’s seeing significantly more opinion programming, and believes the recent pandemic has kept the anchors hidden in her studios, rather than getting out and watching life across the country. “It makes a difference,” she says, when a moderator can follow a debate or issue up close and personal. “I’m curious and I love the stories. I’m fascinated by it and I think it sells with viewers.”
She struck what she considers an unusual deal with Newsmax. You can decide what to show on your show. “I am 100% independent. If you don’t like the show, don’t call Chris Ruddy,” she says, referring to the network’s top executive. “Call me. I take all the blame.”
https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/greta-van-susteren-newsmax-1235275722/ Greta Van Susteren Joins Newsmax Early-Evening Lineup