Less than a week into the launch of Fox Sports 1, and one of the network’s strategies is emerging: Like big brother Fox News, you can’t have enough blonde on-air talent.
Fox News, over the last decade, has crafted an image as the blonde network. Seemingly, anyone with a keyboard and access to the web has written about Fox’s Blonde Brigade. There’s a country song about the ‘Girls on Fox News.’ There’s a website titled “Fox News Girls.”
Men’s Journal had perhaps the most severe dismemberment of the Fox News Blonde decree:
Most blond anchors on Fox are dyed blondes. I don’t care how enlightened a male you are, a dyed blonde is sexy because she has, at least on some level, subordinated her will to male desire. But she is also dangerous.
So what has Fox Sports gone out and done? Hired blondes, blondes and more blondes (photos above, list below). Nobody at Fox Sports will talk about the blonde directive on the record – Fox Sports Co-President Eric Shanks didn’t return a call seeking comment – but a source familiar with the network’s thinking said the edict is clear: Fox Sports, like Fox News, wants to appeal to the middle of the country, not the liberal-leaning coasts (ie, New York and LA). Thus, blondes.
Roger Ailes, the President of the Fox News channel, told this to a journalism class this back in April:
“I pick good people … although some people point out that most of them are blond … when women get into television, they dye their hair blond.”
In 2012, Fox Sports plucked Erin Andrews from ESPN, and she’s without question the most well-known blonde in sports at the network. Andrews is the face of Fox’s college football show that will go head-to-head with ESPN’s Gameday.
Earlier this year, we broke the news that Fox snagged Charissa Thompson from ESPN and Thompson figures prominent on Fox Sports Live, FS1’s answer to Sportscenter.
If you turn on Fox Sports 1 from 4-6 pm, the first thing you’re likely to notice? Blondes:
4 pm – Fox Soccer Daily, hosted by Julie Stewart-Binks.
4:30 pm – NASCAR Race Hub, it seems like Danielle Trotta will occasionally host; she figures prominently into their NASCAR coverage
5 pm – Crowd Goes Wild, co-hosted by Georgie Thompson, who one source at Fox described to me as “Erin Andrews to the English soccer crowd.”
And lest we forget Molly McGrath, the former Boston College cheerleader who was at Comcast New England before leaving over the summer for FS1. And Kaitlyn Vincie, another NASCAR reporter who works closely with Trotta.
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