3/7/09 12:51 AM

Eric Burns: 'I Was Given No Reason'

It was reported yesterday by Inside Cable News that Fox News Watch is going to be revamped, and that long-time host Eric Burns will be leaving FNC:

ICN has learned that FNC has not renewed their contributor agreement with Fox News Watch host Eric Burns which is set to expire later this spring. I'm told the program will remain focused on media criticism but will be revamped with a new host and more of an eye on the evolving new media. Fox News Watch handily beats CNN's Reliable Sources…proving that Fox is not afraid to tweak even successful programming.
Mr Burns, who did background pieces during the early years of News Watch, took over hosting duties in 1998 following the death of Eric Breindel.

The media analysis program has bounced around the weekend schedule of late, though as of now it is back in its familiar 6:30 pm Eastern slot. Oddly, programs that are less popular (like the Journal Editorial Report) are given multiple plays over the weekend, while News Watch gets just one airing.

Eric Burns confirmed to J$P that the ICN report is accurate, and told us:
Fox News has told me that my contract will be terminated within the next 2 months, perhaps sooner. I was given no reason. It certainly has nothing to do with ratings; the last episode of Fox News Watch was the second highest-rated weekend show on on all 3 cable news networks and the program has almost been in the top 4 or 5. I have no theory, none, why they are getting rid of me. Although I heard rumors, I have never heard reasons.
Before joining Fox, Mr Burns was a correspondent for NBC News. He won an Emmy award for media criticism, and is is also a respected author (Virtue, Valor, and Vanity and Infamous Scribblers, among others).

You can tell Fox if you agree with this decision at comments@foxnews.com.

Addendum: Fox News Watch has provided us with a host of memorable video clips. Just a few:

Bill Corcoran
I'm sorry to see them dump Eric Burns, however for a longtime I have felt the program focuses too much on tabloid topics to discuss rather than hard news such as the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
I realize Britney Spears, Natalee Holloway and Paris Hilton are ratings grabbers, but if a program is designed to oversee stories that impact on the lives of Americans I think Fox News Watch should have been paying a lot more attention to the coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nice report, Johnny.
February 8, 2008, 3:30:37 PM EST – Like – Reply

Ole Billy do you know who make's the decision's of the stories he was FORCED to cover? Last time I checked it was the EP and even your bathtub boy claims he "FORCED" to "report" stories he doesn't want to. Do explain Ole Billy the difference and who actually "CONTROLS" the content of a show. Show your knowledge of the "industry" you claim to know so much of.
February 8, 2008, 4:48:17 PM EST – Like – Reply

"will be revamped with a new host"
More blond totty in other words.
Eric, your best of out of there...The ships sinking fast:
Ailes To Employees: "Too Much Selfish Complaining, Petty Whining, and A Desire To Have What Someone Else Has"
February 8, 2008, 6:44:33 PM EST – Like – Reply

i'm shocked. he hosted a great roundtable show. this is ridiculous, especially considering how they seem to have so much loyalty to much less skilled tv personalities. lauren green comes to mind. he probably was caught smoking marijuana. nothing lese makes sense. tragic.
February 8, 2008, 6:52:52 PM EST – Like – Reply

Damian G.
I have found FNW's tone to be rather hostile as of late, even with Neil Gabler's absence. Hopefully the new host will lighten the mood of the show.
February 8, 2008, 9:15:56 PM EST – Like – Reply

Will miss Eric. Sadly he will most likely
replaced by a dumb blond or perhaps
Courtney Friel and even dumber blond.
February 9, 2008, 10:04:30 AM EST – Like – Reply

Looks like Fox News Watch is history, I just got a bounceback from the foxnewswatch@foxnews.com email address that is plugged in every episode.
If anyone knows of another email address for Eric so I can forward him the note I sent Fox, let me know.
February 9, 2008, 11:59:49 AM EST – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
The correct email address is newswatch@foxnews.com though I haven't tried it lately.
February 9, 2008, 12:52:09 PM EST – Like – Reply

Bill Corcoran
Scott: All I know is I wrote an op/ed column for 40 years and not ONCE did the publisher or the editors tell me what I had to write about or what I shouldn't write about. They didn't agree with me (the chain of papers was known for their right wing slant), but they NEVER questioned my judgment on what went in my column.
How do you know FOX NEWS editorial people were in charge of News Watch content? Prove it with a memo or something that is written and not just your opinion.
February 9, 2008, 1:07:37 PM EST – Like – Reply

Thanks Johnny...I pulled the incorrect one from the foxnews.com page
February 9, 2008, 1:44:34 PM EST – Like – Reply

Dr Richrad Blackmoor
Fox...News?! They don't go together.
Fox is more about T and A and emotional appeals then factual information.
February 9, 2008, 3:03:42 PM EST – Like – Reply

It's hard for me to consider the opinion of someone who is allegedly a "doctor," yet can't spell his own name.
That is... unless your name is actually "Richrad."
February 9, 2008, 7:09:37 PM EST – Like – Reply

Fox News Watch contained a panel of two articulate liberals discussing matters of the day with two articulate conservatives. There was no hostility, little name-calling (of each other), no finger pointing and no anger.
It was doomed.
February 10, 2008, 1:14:25 AM EST – Like – Reply

Anything with Cal Thomas in it is a class act.
It enraged me when CAIR tried to Cal Thomas' column dropped.
February 11, 2008, 11:04:17 AM EST – Like – Reply

Jack Hughes
Not enough right-wing partisanship.
It had to go.
February 11, 2008, 12:10:45 PM EST – Like – Reply

Were there any showings this weekend? If so, my DVR missed it
February 11, 2008, 12:29:02 PM EST – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
Pre-empted for election/caucus coverage.
February 11, 2008, 12:32:15 PM EST – Like – Reply

Eric Burns was a good host/moderator. Sorry to see him go. Liz, I don't think they will be sending Courtney Friel to fill in. Her gig is celebrity based. She is as hot as they come, though. Also, before you call someone dumb, I suggest you use your spell check.
February 11, 2008, 12:43:57 PM EST – Like – Reply

On the Mark
You nailed it, Mr. Hughes. Fair and balanced cannot be tolerated at FNC.
February 11, 2008, 6:34:55 PM EST – Like – Reply

Fox Fan
"You nailed it, Mr. Hughes. Fair and balanced cannot be tolerated at FNC."
As you type on a site that proves otherwise every day with video proof.
Sorry that the truth hurts, OTM.
February 12, 2008, 7:08:43 AM EST – Like – Reply

Used to watch FNW. Sorry to see Eric Burns go. But from the comments I have seen, that just may happen. "...Watch" has dragged to the tabloid side of the aisle making it unwatchable.
February 12, 2008, 7:16:43 AM EST – Like – Reply

On The Mark
A very good point, BobAnthony.
February 12, 2008, 7:45:07 AM EST – Like – Reply

So sorry for spelling errors I have very
poor eyesight and can barely read this
but you got me. That does not change
my opinion spelling not withstanding.
February 14, 2008, 10:49:54 AM EST – Like – Reply