Newsmax has joined the ranks of cable news power players, thanks to its breakout star Greg Kelly.
Since last January, Kelly has hosted Greg Kelly Reports at 7 p.m. each night. The show has attracted a legion of new viewers since the November election and became the first Newsmax show to draw more than 1 million viewers.
Kelly pulls an average of more than 800,000 viewers per minute each night. The conservative opinion show has turned into a consistent ratings winner during the day and especially at 7 p.m. ET.
Last week the Nielsen Coverage Rating for 7 p.m. showed that Greg Kelly Reports was pulling .77 in the advertiser-coveted demo 35-64.
Overall Newsmax has averaged around 326,000 viewers in prime time since the election.
Fifty-one-year-old Kelly, a former Fox News correspondent, is the son of former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly.
He co-hosted Good Day New York on Fox 5 NY WNYW, with Rosanna Scotto, from 2008 until he left in the summer of 2017.
“People loved him on television not just because he was smart and handsome, but because he was very real,” Scotto told the New York Times.
“His sense of humor is off the charts, and he has an uncanny knowledge of things about New York that you would never expect,” she added. “Those are some of the things that made him a superstar.”
He previously worked with Fox News as a co-host of Fox and Friends and White House correspondent from 2002 until 2007.
Kelly is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Marine Forces Reserve. He graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and served nine years as an attack pilot in the United States Marine Corps, specializing in flying the A V-8B Harrier jet.
During his service he accrued 158 aircraft carrier landings and flew over Iraq in Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the United Nations-imposed no-fly zone.
While working at Fox News he provided extensive coverage of the Iraq war, including four long-term assignments in Baghdad.
During the 2003 invasion, he was embedded with the Army’s Third Infantry Division, Second Brigade, and was the first television reporter to follow American forces infiltrating Baghdad as they stormed Saddam Hussein’s presidential palace, when Kelly was wounded after he was struck in the face by shrapnel.
Ossen D’Haiti, a fellow Marine pilot and longtime friend who served with Kelly in the early 1990s told the New York Times, “Greg was a bit of a maverick back then. He’s the kind of guy you want in your squadron. He doesn’t get too uptight, and finds levity in everything he does.”
Newsmax is available for free on most streaming platforms and estimates that its streaming viewership nearly doubles its Nielsen average viewership numbers.
Newsmax TV is now carried in 70 million cable homes.
Newsmax TV is now carried in 70 million cable homes, on DirecTV Ch. 349, Dish Network Ch. 216, Xfinity Ch. 1115, Spectrum, U-verse Ch. 1220, FiOS Ch. 615, Optimum Ch. 102, Cox cable, Suddenlink Ch. 102 and Mediacom Ch. 277.