MacCallum’s new show is called “First 100 Days,” which is pretty self-explanatory. Equally obvious is that Fox News will need yet another new show with another new name on Day 101 of the Donald Trump administration.
Will MacCallum still be the host? She talked about that and more with The Fix, ahead of her program’s Monday premiere. The following conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
THE FIX: Describe your new show. You’re preceded by Bret Baier’s “Special Report,” which is very newsy, and followed by a big block of conservative commentary from Bill O’Reilly, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity. Should viewers expect you to fall into one category or the other, or perhaps be some kind of hybrid?
MACCALLUM: I see it primarily as a news show. That’s my background. I’ve been doing “America’s Newsroom” and lots of other news shows and writing over the years. That’s my thing. But I think it’s fair to say we’ll get into analysis, and our guests will have opinions. I think it’s actually the perfect bridge between “Special Report” and Bill O’Reilly.
THE FIX: The name of the show, “First 100 Days,” obviously indicates an expiration date. But should we expect there to be many more days of Martha MacCallum at 7 p.m.?
MACCALLUM: You know what? We’ll see. I think we’re all really excited about this project. I love what I do in the morning. Bill Hemmer and I have been a team for a long time, and we have a great show, and it does very well — rates better than most of the competition’s prime-time shows. So we have a great thing there. … I honestly don’t know what will happen after.
THE FIX: Are you hoping to stay in prime time or are you hoping to go back to your old show?
MACCALLUM: I think I’ll have a better answer to that in a few months. I’m going to see how it works with the rest of my life. I have teenage boys at home, and I’ve typically been home in the evenings. But if it works well at home, and it works well here, and we’re all excited about how it’s going, that’s a possibility.
THE FIX: I’m probably the first person to mention this, but you’re now the only woman in Fox News’s prime-time lineup.
MACCALLUM: Really? What a novel question.
THE FIX: Totally. Seriously, though, your status as the lone woman is more conspicuous because your network’s longtime chairman, Roger Ailes, resigned last summer under a cloud of sexual harassment accusations. So do you feel that you’re carrying an extra responsibility?
MACCALLUM: You know, there are so many talented people here that I think the likelihood that there will be both men and women in our prime-time lineup is expected. I’m happy to step into the 7 o’clock role. I try not to look at things like everything has to be boy-girl-boy-girl or that gender should really be a consideration. I believe that the best people for these jobs are in them. I love the fact that Tucker is going to 9 o’clock, and I love the fact that I’m going to be doing 7. If I were in charge of creating the lineup, which I’m not, I would’ve done exactly the same thing.
There are so many strong women here, all throughout the day. I think we’re very well represented. I don’t look at life in terms of checking the boxes, making sure you have enough women here and enough men there.
THE FIX: Your show’s focus on Trump’s first 100 days suggests a real focus on holding him accountable for the promises he made during the campaign. Here at The Post, we counted 282 promises — some more serious than others, obviously. But the point is, he promised a lot. So what are you most interested in tracking?
MACCALLUM: Obamacare is going to be a big focus, for sure. I think rolling back regulations for corporations, which he has promised to do, is going to be a very big focus because it has stimulated a lot of interest in the markets. I come from a financial news background, originally, so that is a big area of focus for me. You look at corporate tax rates; you would expect those to be a priority for him, as well. And you look at the Iran deal, in terms of foreign policy, and reestablishing what he sees as broken relationships around the world. I think those are some of the top priorities at home and abroad that we’re going to be holding his feet to the fire on. And there’s the wall, of course.
THE FIX: I assume, now that you’re in prime time, that Trump will pay closer attention to you than he did before. We know he can really bring the heat when he doesn’t like someone’s coverage. Megyn Kelly can tell you all about that. Does that enter your mind — the looming possibility of a furious tweetstorm?
MACCALLUM: It’s not something that bothers me. I think, in many ways, when people hold his feet to the fire, he tends to respond better to them. He respects people who are fair. We’re going to make it very clear from the get-go that we’re neither rooting him on nor cheering for him to fail. When he falls short, we’ll point it out, and when he does something that people respond well to, we’ll point that out, too.
I am not afraid of him. I know him. I’ve interviewed him before, and I have pressed him on issues before, and I am sure he will expect that I will be the same person I’ve always been.