There have been a number of books written about Roger Ailes, the Fox News President credited with the success of the cable channel’s politically charged programming. Like him or hate him, people inside the media and deep in politics typically have an opinion.
Roger Ailes’ book sales
With such an explosive topic one might think book sales discussing Roger Ailes would be immediate blockbusters. That’s not the case, at all. This likely is not due to Roger Ailes, his noteworthy life accomplishments nor his political leanings, but more likely due to the fact that profiles of media puppet masters, from either the right or left, are typically most interesting to those in the media and not much else. Translation: lackluster sales and ratings on TV talk shows.
Variety reports that CNN’s media-analysis program, “Reliable Sources,” drew small numbers for the show devoted to allegations raised in an upcoming unauthorized biography of Roger Ailes. Coincidence? Monday night on CNN an interview with the book’s author, Gabe Sherman, also performed poorly.
The most significant indicator of popularity is book sales. With five books telling Roger Ailes tale – an interesting story by almost any standard – one might think book sales to support this cottage industry of writers would be robust. However, that’s not the case. Consider Roger Ailes: Off Camera (Sentinel) that recently hit bookstores. It currently ranks near 130,000 on the Amazon rank despite reasonably significant pre-publication buzz.
Of all the books about Roger Ailes – including The Loudest Voice in the Room, The Fox Effect, Dark Genius – none have cracked and sustained below the 100,000 ranking on Amazon. This isn’t because Mr. Ailes isn’t accomplished or interesting. Roger Ailes, a graduate of Ohio University in the heart of middle America, has importantly shaped the media world and influenced the political narrative. In fact, to conservatives he changed the news landscape and ushered in a partisan brand of journalism that, judging by Fox News consistent ratings wins over MSNBC and CNN, can’t be denied. The issue is that the only people who care are those in the media and deep into politics. The puppet masters of the world, either on the right or left, are never the stars of the show.