The right-wing Newsmax site has tasked Bill O’Reilly’s longtime executive producer with helping to take on Fox News.
President Donald Trump’s friend Chris Ruddy, who runs Newsmax, confirmed that David Tabacoff, who oversaw O’Reilly’s prime time program for 16 years, is helping the cable channel compete with Fox News and One America News Network as the leading destination for conservative news, reported The Daily Beast.
“David is advising us as a consultant,” Ruddy told the website via email. “He is one of the greatest producers in television, and we’re glad to have him assist us in building out our programming as we reach over 70 million cable homes.”
Tabacoff joined Fox News in 2001, after 25 years at ABC News, and served as O’Reilly’s top producer until the conservative broadcaster was dumped in April 2017 over multiple sexual harassment settlements.
Although he worked for years as O’Reilly’s right-hand man, Tabacoff’s Twitter account frequently criticizes Trump and shares content from never-Trump Republicans and liberal social media stars like historian Kevin Kruse.
He’ll join former Fox News executive Michael Clemente, who left after founder Roger Ailes’ firing, at Newsmax TV.
O’Reilly himself occasionally appears on Newsmax as an analyst, and Ruddy has suggested he would like to hire other ex-Fox News stars such as Megyn Kelly, and Trump has publicly feuded with the conservative network over what he sees as negative coverage.
For now, Trump seems to favor One America News Network as a competitor, but Ruddy hopes Newsmax can steal some of those eyeballs away from Fox News.
“There is a growing disenchantment with Fox News and we are definitely seeing a rise in viewership with Newsmax,” Ruddy told The Hollywood Reporter last month.