NEW YORK >> Former CNN mainstay Nancy Grace is signing up for a crime show on Fox Nation, an illustration of how Fox News’ streaming service has evolved counter to expectations one year into operation.
Cameras will show her delivering her podcast and SiriusXM radio show, “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace,” five days a week. The program is modeled after her popular television series that ran on the HLN network for many years.
“We spotlight breaking crime and justice news, help find missing people, especially children, solve unsolved homicides and analyze clues left behind,” Grace said.
Fox Nation, the streaming service available for $65 a year, will begin offering “Crime Stories” in January.
The on-demand service recently announced that former CBS News correspondent Lara Logan will host a documentary series on media bias, immigration and other issues, and said more signings are in the works.
When Fox Nation began late last year, it was positioned as a place where potential subscribers could go if they didn’t feel they were getting enough opinion programming on Fox News Channel. Instead, users were apparently getting their fill.
“In a weird way, what the traditional Fox audience wants is complementary to the channel but not more of the same,” said John Finley, the Fox executive vice president who oversees the streaming service.
Perhaps the political climate has exhausted them, he said. Instead, he’s found a hunger for “programming with Fox values but not necessarily politics,” he said. That encompasses history, crime and lifestyle programming.
“What Made America Great,” where “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade visits historical sites across the country, is one of the service’s most popular programs. So is “Scandalous,” a documentary series on controversial incidents in history. Abby Hornacek is a popular host, both with the series “PARK’D” where she visits national parks, and “Ride to Work,” where she accompanies Fox personalities in a show that recalls Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” only without coffee stops and without the jokes.
Kilmeade said he’s found “What Made America Great” a fun change of pace and he’s been surprised by the reaction he gets.
“I was able to sit on Washington’s head and look down,” Kilmeade said, recalling one of his favorite stops, Mount Rushmore.
Finley said Fox is happy with the number of subscribers Fox Nation has after one year, although the company won’t release any statistics. The market research firm Parks Associates estimates that it has between 200,000 and 300,000 subscribers.
For a niche product designed to attract a specific type of user — fans of the television network — that’s pretty good, said Brett Sappington, senior research director at Parks Associates.
This past summer, Fox Nation also began streaming a simulcast of the Fox News Channel telecast, which Finley estimated is usually watched by about 20 percent of the service’s users.