David Clark has been with Fox News Channel since its inception in 1996.
He oversees 35 hours of programming each week, primarily during the morning and early afternoon, and maintains the largest Rolodex of guests of any booker in the company.
PRWeek: What kinds of stories are catching your attention these days?
David Clark:The harder news, the better. We've found that really soft stuff, news you can use, probably isn't for our audience - [for example] what you can do to avoid shark bites. We'd rather talk about the victim and how it actually happened. Right now, I'd say the two big things that are driving us during the daytime hours are crime and politics. Obviously, the Aruba story has been a tremendous hit with our audience, but as you've probably seen through the years here at Fox, politics is a big driver for our audience.
PRWeek: How can a publicist get a guest on one of your shows? Clark:
Clark:The best is e-mail. Direct phone pitches or fax pitches - we just don't have the time and manpower to handle them. I certainly value PR people highly because they bring to my attention contacts that I otherwise might not have come across, or stories or angles that I might not have come across. You want to be very direct in your approach, have your story have something to do with the news. I'm not going to do really soft things at all, so if people are paying attention to what's in the news that day and then linking it to their author or their expert, that's going to be a big plus for us.
PRWeek: What does Fox News know about drawing viewers that maybe your competitors don't?
Clark:We're very responsive to our audience; I think we know our audience very well. We don't view daytime [programming] as appointment viewing, [as] our prime time is. So we want to have the most compelling screen at all times; it doesn't matter what time is on the clock. So where some of our competitors might put a soft story at the end of the hour, we want to be interesting all the way around the clock. You could have Aruba at the top of the hour, or you could have it in the middle of the hour. It's just what we think is going to catch viewers at any individual time.
PRWeek: Fox News has a reputation for being the most conservative cable news network. To what extent does that perception impact bookings? Do you try to reach a certain demographic?
Clark:I think about putting the best stories on that are going to reach the biggest audience - that's all I think about. I don't think left or right, except when it comes to balance. If someone's going to have a view on one side of the fence, I want to make sure that the audience gets the complete picture, so they can make up their own minds about what they think the story is about. I think we're trying to appeal to the most people possible. I think we all aim for the 25-to-54 demographic, which is the key one for us and for advertisers. That does enter into our thought process, both in terms of topics and in terms of guests. We want guests that are going to be lively and attractive to the audience.
Name: David Clark
Outlet: Fox News Channel
Title: Executive producer and director of guest bookings in New York