It looks like Geraldo Rivera, the longtime newsmagazine host and controversial reporter is leaving the airwaves. But don’t shed too many tears for him. In typical Rivera fashion, he won’t be gone for long.
After nearly a year and a half in syndication, FOX has pulled the plug on Geraldo Rivera’s newsmagazine Geraldo at Large. The Twentieth Television show’s production will shut down this month and the series will leave the airwaves on January 26th. The At Large staff was informed of the cancellation on January 4th.
FOX Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy praised Rivera and the At Large staff in saying, “We want to thank Geraldo for always bringing viewers compelling news stories through the syndicated program. His strong in-depth reporting and that of his correspondents was well-received in top 10 markets such as Dallas, Atlanta and Detroit, and we appreciate the hard work and dedication put forth by the entire Geraldo at Large staff.”
Geraldo at Large aired predominately in late evening time-slots and was averaging under two million viewers each night. In light of the cancellation, the FOX Television Stations group will likely replace the series with “new syndicated fare” such as off-network situation comedies.
Chairman and CEO of FOX News and chairman of FOX Television Stations Roger Ailes said that there were several reasons for the newsmagazine’s cancellation and will continue to work with Rivera. Roger said, “His (Geraldo’s) ratings were climbing in several markets, including New York. However, with the soft ad marketplace, the lack of an early news lead-in for his show in several cities and the timeline for financial success, I’ve asked him to come back to FOX News Channel.”
Rivera has signed a new multi-year contract with FOX News that includes the return of At Large with Geraldo Rivera to the FOX network. At Large with Geraldo Rivera will air on Saturday and Sunday nights, though the show’s specific premiere date and time slot have yet to be determined. Rivera will also continue to make guest appearances on FOX News Channel ‘s The O’Reilly Factor and to serve as a correspondent at large during major breaking-news events.
If he’s upset about the cancellation, Rivera isn’t showing it. He said, “I’m proud to work for Roger, and I’m a team player. FOX News Channel is the best outfit in the business, and the new deal allows me to cover breaking news and work with one of the most talented group of reporters in the world. Roger and I go back decades, and I want to thank him for another great opportunity.”
UPDATE: There was later a change in plans and Geraldo at Large moved to Fox News Channel on February 10, 2007. It runs twice a weekend in the evenings.