Fox News has reached a deal with God that will have the Almighty anchoring its evening news broadcast, which is set to be renamed “Straight Outta Heaven.”
The four-year deal features an annual base salary of $62.5 million, making the Almighty the highest paid journalist on the planet, according to Fox News President Roger Ailes. It could be worth twice that amount if he draws a dominant share of viewers in the hyper-competitive 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST time slot. Additional incentives are tied to merchandizing and trademarking opportunities.
Straight Outta Heaven is expected to begin airing Jan. 1 and is going to be built around the newsplex concept pioneered by Fox’s WSVN affiliate station in Miami. The format is heavy on police and political reporting, and places a premium on sexy on-air personalities.
“We’re very pleased to announce that we’ve reached an understanding with God,” Ailes said Tuesday. “After decades of speaking in his name, it was just a natural evolution for our news operation to actually bring this deity into the studio on a permanent basis and let him speak for himself.”
Bono, the lead singer of the band U2 and a noted humanitarian, decried the move as “unfortunate.” Current Fox News evening anchor Shepard Smith, who will be bumped by God, declined comment, but did tweet “FML” in a cryptic note to fans.
Straight Outta Heaven will feature a trio of disgraced news personalities. Former CNN anchors Andrea Thompson (below left) and Rick Sanchez will share the studio news desk with the Almighty, and fomer New York Times staff writer Jayson Blair will be reporting from the field. Mel Gibson is slated to cover sports and entertainment in Aramaic.
“I’m here in heaven right now and the excitement is palpable,” Blair said during a phone interview from the Circus Circus Hotel in Las Vegas.
“God was pacing back and forth on his terrace, which overlooks tobacco fields and cattle pastures, when he suddenly turned to me and said that he was humbled by the opportunity,” Blair said. “Can you imagine that, God being humbled? It’s incredible.”
Archangels Michael and Garbriel will backup Candy Crowley in Fox’s Washington, D.C., bureau, according to Ailes.
Crowley is joining the team from CNN where she was that network’s chief political correspondent. The 63-year-old news legend, who has been with CNN since 1987, confirmed the rumors of her impending departure.
Crowley’s hiring brings a reporter with proven journalism gravitas to the team. It also adds a new title to her already impressive resume: “God’s Correspondent.”
“I hate to leave CNN, but who can pass up the opportunity to work with God,” said Crowley (right).
The innovations tied to the new pairing are not restricted entirely to the newsroom.
God has agreed to replace “the golden rule” with the fiduciary duty of CEOs to maximize shareholder value, according to spokesman Pat Robertson.
“Greed is now good, usury is permissable, and adultery is OK,” Robterson said, provided you’re wealthier than your paramour’s spouse.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity to reach people through the mediums of television and webcasting,” God said in an email statement. “The world is changing and I must change with it.”
Mother Mary is slated to cover weather for the new show, with St. Theresa of Avila handling traffic. The two women are rumored to be working with a stylist and fitness trainer to ease their transition to the small screen.
Mary (left) was overheard complaining about her new wardrobe of extra-small shirts, wonderbras, and micro-minskirts as she and Theresa participated in a spin class Thursday at the New York Health & Raquet Club in Lower Manhattan.
“They say I have to lose another 10 pounds,” Mary reportedly told Theresa. “God, give me strength.”
One Facebook credit was immediately subtracted from Mary’s Facebook account after her use of the phrase, which is now copyrighted by Fox.
Similar usage fees now apply to all references to the terms “God, Jesus, heaven, Allah, Krishna, Yahweh, angels and hell.” Compound phrases such as “Christ in heaven” are subject to a double charge, while “Jesus, Mary and Joseph” carries a three credit pricetag, according to Ailes.
Fox is running a two-for-one special on the sayings “when hell freezes over” and “God help us” through Dec. 31 to ease the transition to the new norm.
The Almighty confirmed rumors that a deal with Geraldo Rivera, which would have secured the bombastic news man for foreign assignments, had fallen through.
“As everyone knows, I believe in second chances,” God said through Robertson. “Unfortunately, there’s just not enough room for both me and Geraldo on the show. We were sorry to have to pass on the opportunity to work with him and wish him well.”
God made it clear during the webcast that he does not support the hate-fueled rants the Westboro Baptist Church (right) has made in his name. However, the Almighty indicated he does support the crackdown on the nonviolent protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement, particularly those camped outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
“No, I do not hate gays, soldiers, priests, Lady Gaga or Jews,” God said through Robertson. “However, I do hate members of the middle class who think they’re entitled to anything but a life of service and willful subordination to those born into wealth.
“If I wanted everyone to be rich, let’s face it, I could have made you all Rockefellers. The bottom line is that it’s just no fun to be rich unless somebody else is poor.”