Laura Ingraham was the toast of Fox News on Wednesday evening as the number-one cable news channel hosted a star-studded bash at a steakhouse just across the street from the U.S. Capitol to celebrate the premiere of “The Ingraham Angle” on Monday, October 30, at 10 p.m.
“It will be great, I’m sure. I’m very confident,” Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp., told LifeZette at the party at Charlie Palmer Steak.
Murdoch, the man who started it all in 1996, when he and Roger Ailes launched Fox News, was accompanied by his wife, the legendary actress-model Jerry Hall.
He warmed up the crowd by boasting of Fox News’ status as the number-one cable news channel. Murdoch said the addition of Ingraham will mean the channel has the most female talent of any news channel, and that with the addition of Shannon Bream’s 11 p.m. show, Fox News will be live from 4 a.m. to midnight.
Ingraham promised to hear all sides, and said she was grateful to Murdoch for the opportunity to discuss the nation’s issues in the 10 p.m. time slot.
“I’ve always been home but I really feel like I’ve come home now,” said Ingraham, who was hired as a Fox News contributor in 2007. “Tonight, I am exceedingly grateful … This is going to be a new exciting chapter.”
Ingraham, the most listened-to female talk-radio host in the country and a New York Times best-selling author, has made frequent appearances on Fox News over the past decade. In late July she was approached to host a new show in the prime-time lineup. Sean Hannity’s show was moved to 9 p.m., and “The Five” was moved back to 5 p.m. in the reshuffling.
Several Fox News heavyweights arrived at the party to toast Ingraham, including Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday”; Bret Baier, host of “Special Report with Bret Baier”; and Shannon Bream, the news network’s night anchor. Peter Doocy, D.C. correspondent for Fox News and son of “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy, was also there.
The White House sent top advisers to the president Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Miller, along with Mercedes Schlapp, the communications aide handling tax reform issues. Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, Dave Bossie, also stopped by.
Longtime friends of Ingraham who were there included Pat Buchanan, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Bill Bennett, the former education secretary under President Ronald Reagan.
Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) were there, as were Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.); Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform; and former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer.
There was also a British contingent at the bash, with Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam in attendance along with his former boss, Nigel Farage, former leader of the U.K. Independence Party.
The event caps quite a month for Ingraham, who has been on a promotion tour for her new book on the 2016 presidential campaign, “Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump.”
In 2015, Ingraham founded LifeZette, a news website whose motto is “Life. Explained.” The site’s mission is “to inform and entertain — and to help all of us live our lives to the fullest.” During the 2016 election, the site saw its readership jump, in part due to Ingraham’s focus on politics and faith issues. Since President Trump took office, White House press secretaries have opened up three different daily briefings by calling first on LifeZette.
Peter Anthony, CEO of LifeZette, said Ingraham got to where she is now because of her listeners, readers and viewers.
“It has been a natural progression,” said Anthony about Ingraham’s rise from talk-radio host to one of the most recognizable news commentators today. “She has always had a connection with blue-collar Americans.”
Those listeners and viewers likely saw Ingraham first as a regular cable TV presence in the late 1990s. In 2001, Ingraham launched her radio program, “The Laura Ingraham Show,” and is now the most listened-to female radio talk-show host in the United States.
Ingraham is a former aide to President Ronald Reagan. She graduated from Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School of Law. She has three children.