IT HAS been a very weird spring watching Howard Kurtz implode, which will be Fox News channel’s gain. First it was all the drama at Daily Beast and Newsweek, then the train wreck of criticism on his own CNN show “Reliable Sources.” Now he’s out at CNN, though “Reliable Sources” will remain.
“I’m excited to be bringing my independent brand of media criticism to Fox News. I want to thank CNN for giving me such a prime opportunity over the years and was tempted to continue, but the chance to create a revamped program and establish a strong online presence was too good to pass up. I hope to add a new dimension to Fox’s coverage and have some fun while diving into the passionate debates about the press and politics.” – Howard Kurtz [Mediaite]
The whole thing got rolling when Howard Kurtz ran a bizarre post titled “Jason Collins’ Other Secret,” which the site ended up retracting. Kurtz also did a companion video for the Daily Download, which made matters worse, about the article Collins wrote for Sports Illustrated where he came out as gay. His work for that site became one of the reasons Howard Kurtz’s departure from the Daily Beast was seen as a firing, though that’s never been made clear. Subsequently, Kurtz did a postmortem on “Reliable Sources” about the whole sorry mess, which ended up in an apology and a long career crash that now has landed him at Fox News channel.
Howard Kurtz made a terrible mistake on the Jason Collins post he did. The reasons don’t matter anymore, but it’s what happens in a quick media environment and you read a story only half-way or comprehend only half of it. Multi-tasking isn’t for everyone and it’s how people screw up. However, he’s had a very long career, which will actually bring Fox News channel a talent that they don’t have, especially in media criticism.
Roger Ailes knows Howard Kurtz, who now has a lot to prove and will likely work hard to do just that. It’s a great move for Fox News channel.
Photo compilation via Mediaite, the outlet that broke the story.