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Since 2002, Fox News has been the highest-rated of America’s three primary cable news networks, ahead of MSNBC and CNN. Its audience size peaked in 2009, though it remains well ahead of its competitors. It earned $534.8 million in profits in 2009, up 19 percent from the previous year, and higher than either CNN or MSNBC.
Fox was founded in 1996 by Roger Ailes (who remains its head) and Rupert Murdoch as an antidote to what they saw as the mainstream media’s ideological and political bias.
Over the past decade, Fox has increasingly moved into opinion and analysis, in addition to news and original reporting. Fox is generally understood to have a conservative political outlook, something that has brought it both praise and criticism, the latter including accusations of being a mouthpiece of the Republican Party, as well as accusations of poor journalism. It has hired numerous current politicians as news analysts.
Fox was among the 10 largest American news sites on the web as of April 2011, though its online audience is smaller than CNN’s or MSNBC’s.
In the mid-2000s, Fox’s site ranked relatively low in user interactivity, but Fox’s citizen journalism project uReport was launched in 2007 and became a partnership with News Corp.’s social network MySpace in 2009. In 2009, Fox launched the community-based political analysis site Fox Nation.
Fox News’ iPhone app was the most downloaded free iPhone news app in 2010, and it launched a free iPad app in June 2011.
MSNBC is an American cable news channel founded in 1996 through a partnership between Microsoft and NBC. NBCUniversal bought majority control of the channel in 2005. MSNBC is one of America’s three largest cable news networks, along with Fox News and CNN. Of those three, MSNBC is commonly found to be the most politically liberal,…