After only six months at right-wing cable channel Newsmax, former Trump campaign adviser Steve Cortes has been sacked by the network because top officials say he “can’t be trusted” and has atrocious ratings.
The Daily Beast reports that friction between Cortes and Newsmax has escalated since a company-wide vaccination policy was implemented:
Earlier this month, Newsmax instituted a rule that all employees must either be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID testing. The news of such a policy, which was in compliance with the Biden administration’s policy for businesses with more than 100 employees, pushed Cortes to unequivocally declare on Twitter that he wouldn’t have any part of it.
I will not comply w/ any organization’s attempt to enforce Biden’s capricious & unscientific Medical Apartheid mandate.
I will not be forced into the injection, nor will I disclose my vaccination status.
No one should be pressured to choose between medical privacy & their job.
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) November 6, 2021
Cortes has also infuriated network executives by making inflammatory statements that have caused legal problems for Newsmax:
“It’s been ongoing for a while,” one current Newsmax staffer told The Daily Beast, adding that Cortes is “a constant risk” due to his penchant for making controversial and inflammatory comments.
“He’s on a delay. Can’t trust him,” the staffer further noted, claiming Cortes’ nightly program utilizes a broadcast delay to give the network an opportunity to censor potentially inappropriate content.
Additionally, Cortes continues to insist that the 2020 election was stolen, which has led to billion-dollar lawsuits against the network which could potentially bankrupt the Newsmax.
But perhaps worst of all is that Cortes simply couldn’t draw viewers, and that’s the unpardonable sin in right-wing media:
Despite the hope that Cortes’ credibility with the fervent Trump base would be enough to get the disgraced ex-president’s followers to tune in, Cortes & Pellegrino only averaged 152,000 total viewers a night last month and 24,000 in the key advertising demographic of viewers between the ages 25-54. Sharing the same time slot as cable-news stalwarts Hannity and The Rachel Maddow Show, the 9 p.m. program pulls in only a fraction of its rivals’ viewership.
Furthermore, the primetime show is one of the lowest-rated weekday offerings on the network, which has seen its ratings fall back to earth after a brief surge following the 2020 election.
Newsmax and One America News (OAN) have desperately been trying to steal viewers from Fox News, which is on the outs with Trump for refusing to spread his “Big Lie” about the last presidential election. When Fox called Arizona for President Joe Biden on election night, Trump was reportedly furious and felt the network had betrayed him:
It was one of several times throughout the night that the president’s favorite network declared results long before its competitors — and not necessarily in the president’s favor. Trump campaign officials were livid.
It remains to be seen if any other media outlets will give Cortes another shot, but considering his abysmal ratings and toxic tweets, it seems doubtful he’ll be back on the air anytime soon
Featured Image Via Twitter