Reporter Adam Housley announced his intent to leave Fox News Thursday, saying he would be spending more time with his family and running the family winery. Behind the scenes, co-workers say that he’s tired of the focus on opinion panels and talking heads, and longs for the chance to do hard reporting instead. Housley has called out a ‘polarized’ response and says that political sides should find common ground instead of calling names.
.@adamhousley just did a great live shot for our morning show today from Hawaii… and this afternoon he announces he is leaving Fox News to run his family's winery and spend more time with family. You are one of the best at Fox, Adam. A real pro. Happy for you. pic.twitter.com/UBluaIKnPx
— Troy Hayden (@troyhaydenfox10) August 23, 2018
According to Politico, two other former employees of the network were willing to discuss Housley’s reasons for leaving. One said that Housley believes the network’s focus on Trump has crowded out hard reporting, and that he’s bothered by “the tone of the conversation on the channel.”
Another said that Housley’s objections echo those of Conor Powell, who resigned from the network earlier this month. While Housley’s public statement focused on his family and plans, Powell’s hinted at his unhappiness, according to The Wrap.
After nearly 9 years, I have decided to resign from Fox News. Those of you who have spoken to me in recent months, you will understand why I am leaving FNC,” he said. “To my many friends at the channel I wish you the best of luck.
His exit was reportedly due to an increase in opinion shows and fewer resources for reporting news.
As for Housley, while he didn’t mention it in his exit statement, he has expressed annoyance with the blurring of lines between opinion and news in reporting, and tweeted that he respects the right to opine, but avoids contributing to opinion shows himself, and prefers to stick to facts.
Serious questions about credible sourcing by some of my colleagues in the media. We see circular reporting and this…this..along with politics…needs to be called out. Opinion is one thing, news is another. The lines have been more than blurred.
— Adam Housley (@adamhousley) February 2, 2018
I know this. Our news division is honest and strong and hardworking and while I don’t contribute to our opinion shows, they have every right to opine. It’s also what’s great about American..whether I agree with them or not. I stick to facts as best I can
— Adam Housley (@adamhousley) March 17, 2018
However, as the news of his resignation spread Friday, Adam Housley decried the politicization of even this, hinting at a sense of relief to step away from the polarization of everything in news.
I’m sure gonna enjoy that glass of wine while the polarized in this country duke it out. Maybe one day…one day we can find common ground first rather than just call names
According to The Hill, Powell and Housley aren’t the only ones frustrated. Former employees of the network say that reporters are “tired of working overtime to not get any air time,” and that the decrease of hard news in favor of opinion shows isn’t pleasing them.
Adam Housley is the second reporter to leave the network this month for reasons said to center around the direction of the network’s content. If the frustration among reporters is as widespread as former employees say, he may not be the last.
Update: Following the publication of this story a Fox News spokesperson reached out to Hill Reporter with a statement from Housley:
“After nearly two decades at Fox News, I have decided to leave the network and take some time in northern California to raise our two young children closer to my family, which includes running the family winery and even coaching their sports teams,” Housley said in a statement. “I could not be more proud of the journalism I did at the network, from war zones, to tsunamis, to watching miners pulled from the ground in Chile, I am grateful for the extraordinary opportunities to have a front seat to history and cover news all over the world. A huge thank you to the many Fox employees, especially behind the scenes, who have supported me every step of the way. We are friends for life.” – Adam Housley