The Fox affiliate in Boston is dropping “Fox” from the station’s news programing after research showed it has been depressing their ratings in the liberal enclave.
According to the Boston Globe, WFXT announced on Thursday it is changing the name of its local news programming from “Fox 25 News” to “Boston 25 News.”
The station will continue to show Fox network shows, but felt the need to distance itself from the hard-right conservatism of the Fox News network — home to hosts Sean Hannity and embattled Bill O’Reilly.
Under the change, the affiliate will still be known as “Fox 25” — but not when broadcasting the news.
According to WFXT general manager Tom Raponi, being linked to Fox News has been detrimental to local news coverage ratings.
“The perception of what our TV news station does is not what we do. They perceive us to be part of the Fox News family,” Raponi said, adding that linkage doesn’t work in Boston’s “environment.”
Raponi explained that 41 percent of Boston-area television viewers believed the Fox 25 newscast leaned conservative despite locally produced coverage.
In the most recent rating period, Fox 25 trailed its only 10 p.m. competition — the local NBC affiliate — in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic.
According to the Globe, Fox News did not respond to request for a comment.