Saturday, December 4, 2021

Harris Faulkner Wants to be ‘Part of the Solution’ at Fox News

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Anchorwoman Harris Faulkner attends the The Paley Honors: Celebrating Women In Television event at Cipriani Wall Street at on May 17, 2017 in New York City.
Anchorwoman Harris Faulkner attends the The Paley Honors: Celebrating Women In Television event at Cipriani Wall Street at on May 17, 2017 in New York City.

*In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, veteran Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner was asked about her 12 year run on the conservative-leaning network as the only African-American woman hosting a daily daytime cable news program, and seeing her fair share of sexual harassment and racism in the workplace.

“Were there days when I wanted to walk away?” Faulkner asked. “Yeah, especially when people judged me in public in front of my children. But I didn’t, and I’m glad that I haven’t.”

Faulkner, who hosts the network’s 1 p.m. hour, “Outnumbered Overtime” (which is dominating CNN and MSNBC in the timeslot), recalled a moment with “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade during a 2015 holiday cooking segment. Faulkner was preparing her mother’s peach cobbler recipe with her daughter. During the demonstration, Kilmeade asked Faulkner if she served Kool-Aid at her meals.

Faulkner said she made the decision to stay focused on the task at hand, and didn’t want the racial stereotype to derail the segment. Faulkner says she has moved on from the comment, but also says Kilmeade has never apologized for the crack.

“If he came to me this day and apologized, I would accept it,” she said.

Faulkner says she has been noticing positive change at the company since the exit of late former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and other executives.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

Fox News, with its polarizing conservative personalities, can stir enough passion among viewers that strangers who recognize Faulkner on the street will ask her how she can work there after the harassment allegations were revealed.

But the 52-year-old UC Santa Barbara alum believed she could be “part of the solution.” On Oct. 2, she became one of five solo women who now host their own daily hours on Fox News (a year ago, there were only two, including Megyn Kelly, who left for NBC). Faulkner, who joined Fox News in 2005, is also currently the only black woman with a daily program on one of the three major cable news channels.

Faulkner’s show, “Outnumbered Overtime,” is watched by an average of 1.6 million viewers and has lifted the ratings for the 1 p.m. Eastern time, and has an 82% advantage over CNN and a 78% lead over MSNBC. Faulkner also remains a co-host of “Outnumbered,” the talk show that proceeds it; it draws 1.8 million viewers each day, also leading its cable news competition by a wide margin.

As one of the commentary-free anchors who puts the news in Fox News, Faulkner juggles guest interviews and breaking stories with no-nonsense precision during the midday hours when a White House briefing or off-the-cuff comment by President Trump can shift the national conversation for the rest of the day.

Lately, the “Outnumbered” circle has been discussing the sexual misconduct allegations of news personalities at other networks and members of Congress. Faulkner makes a point of reminding her co-hosts that Fox News has dealt with the same issues.

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