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"A Different Tone" Draws Non-Traditional Fox News Viewers to The Five, Says Prof. Jeff McCall '76

August 12, 2013

"Palm Beach County is used to being at the center of politically-centered stories -- 2000 elections, anyone? -- but here’s a new, unexpected distinction. Apparently, the county, which has leaned Democratic in every presidential election since 1992, has the second-highest viewership in the country for … a Fox News show?," writes Leslie Gray Streeter in Florida's Palm Beach Post. The Five, which "features a rotating cast of five opinionated hosts, doesn’t have the pointed hard edge of ... The O’Reilly Factor or The Sean Hannity Show."

Jeff McCall, professor of communication at DePauw University, tells the Post that "the Fox News audience tends to be a bit older than the national population. The percentage of people over 65 in Palm Beach County is almost 22 percent, compared to the national percentage of 13.3 percent. In addition, older or retired people are more likely home at 5 p.m. to watch the show, while many younger people are still at work or on the roads going home."

The professor, who the paper notes is "an occasional Fox News guest," says The Five offers "a more casual conversation that some of the other programs. And sometimes they do things for fun, whether its a stunt in the studio, like when they were playing with a Nerf ball. There's a different tone, and it doesn't hurt that there's a variety of people on there. They don't have the kind of raised voices like on a Chris Matthews or Sean Hannity type of show. They're also all photogenic, and that's not an accident."

The complete article is available to subscribers at the newspaper's website.

A 1976 graduate of DePauw and a former journalist, Jeffrey M. McCall authored Viewer Discretion Advised: Taking Control of Mass Media Influences. He is frequently called upon by major news outlets to discuss media matters and authored a recent op-ed for the Indianapolis Star and other newspapers. The professor was also recently quoted in Variety and discussed the changing distribution models for television programming with the Los Angeles Times. He's been a guest on The O'Reilly Factor twelve times, most recently in April.

Source: Palm Beach Post

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