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Most, Not All, Fox Stations To Air Capitol Insurrection Congressional Hearing

Donald Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.
(Image credit: Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

The majority of Fox stations appear to be airing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot hearing coverage in primetime June 9, while others will stick with scheduled network programming. Fox “offered” coverage of the hearing to the affiliates, according to The New York Times, but the stations were not mandated to air it.

It seems most are doing so anyway.

The “vast majority” of Nexstar Media Group affiliates are expected to air “network coverage of the Congressional hearings on evenings when they are televised,” according to a spokesperson. Nexstar owns, operates or provides services to 200 stations nationwide.

All of Fox’s owned stations will air the hearing coverage live except WNYW New York, which will stream it.

Mike Vaughn, Fox affiliates board chairman, said the Fox stations nationwide are likely a mixed bag in terms of airing the hearing or not. “I’m sure every owner and every station has different views on the topic,” said Vaughn, senior VP and regional manager at Nexstar. “It is not unified across the board.”

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Fox stations are airing scheduled Fox programming, and streaming the hearing on station websites and mobile platforms. A spokesperson said the stations will get comprehensive coverage on the hearings from the Sinclair Washington bureau. Sinclair owns, operates or provides services for 185 stations. 

MasterChef and Don’t Forget the Lyrics! are on the Fox prime schedule June 9. 

Sunbeam Television’s WSVN Miami, the Fox affiliate in DMA No. 18, is airing the hearing in primetime, and so is Tegna’s WTIC Hartford, Fox affiliate in DMA No. 32. 

A Gray Television spokesperson said programming decisions are up to each GM, and did not know what those decisions were. 

Several Fox affiliate general managers did not return calls for comment, some on short notice. 

The House Select Committee is behind the hearings, which investigate the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. The committee has interviewed hundreds of witnesses over the past year and examined extensive video footage and documents. 

The hearings begin June 9 at 8 p.m. ET and will run at various times throughout the month. 

ABC, CBS and NBC will go live at 8 p.m., as will cable news networks including CNN, MSNBC and Newsmax.

Fox News will stick with scheduled programming, primetime shows hosted by Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. The hosts will cover the event “as news warrants,” said Fox News, with live hearing coverage on Fox Business. 

Fox News Channel will cover the event after it concludes, at 11 p.m., with Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum breaking it down. ■

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.