Right-wing media company Newsmax announced Thursday that it will launch a new pay TV channel intended to challenge incumbent Fox News for cable news audience share and advertisers.
The Boca Raton, Fla.-based publisher, which touts a 200,000 circulation monthly print magazine and a news website that drew 11.5 million unique users in January, according to comScore, said it will conduct a soft launch of Newsmax TV on DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) in mid-June, giving it reach of about 20 million pay TV subscribers, with the goal of soon covering 40 percent of the country.
A Newsmax.com post says the company is "focused on serving an audience of more than 80 million disenfranchised Baby Boomers," while providing them with "independent news with a mainstream conservative tilt, while offering a balanced perspective and open to all points of view."
Of course, with AM talk radio and the dominant portion of the cable news spectrum now dedicated to reinforcing their world view, it's debatable as to just how disenfranchised Newsmax's target audience is.
But there is no question that after more than a decade of operation without any like-minded competitor, the feet of Roger Ailes' Fox News are now being nipped upon by upstarts.
Last month, for example, another fledgling conservative media company, San Diego, Calif.-based Herring Networks announced that it had reached a deal to launch its One America News Network on AT&T U-verse (NYSE: T).
"The agreement we have signed with DirecTV marks a significant milestone for Newsmax TV as we prepare for a national launch this summer," said Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy on the Newsmax website, right next to an ad seeking the repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act. "Our launch will benefit from the existing Newsmax.com audience that is already in place, will naturally be drawn to our brand of news, features and useful information and consists of one of the highest concentrations of baby boomers on the web. We will immediately plug into that audience to participate in the development and the evolution of the channel prior to a national launch."
Newsmax drew revenue of $104 million in 2013, up from $85 million in 2012.
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