Ratings for Fox News have dropped considerably in the wake of popular anchor Tucker Carlson departing from the network.
During its 8 p.m. hour, the network has dropped from a three million viewer average to a 1.65 million viewer average since the departure of Tucker Carlson; the hour was previously filled by Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade, which will then be filled by Fox News personality Lawrence Jones. Per the Washington Post:
The disparity was most stark on Wednesday, when Kilmeade’s 8 p.m. hour received an average of 1.3 million total viewers, compared with the 3 million Carlson received a week earlier — a decline of 56 percent. Overall, the network experienced a 45 percent viewership decline last week without Carlson in the host’s chair.
When Fox announced Carlson’s forced departure April 24, the network said that “rotating Fox News personalities” will fill in until a permanent 8 p.m. host is selected. The network did something similar with the 7 p.m. hour, after it was vacated by anchor Martha MacCallum, and ultimately settled on Jesse Watters as the permanent host. “Jesse Watters Primetime” has been a major success for Fox News, and Watters, who also co-hosts “The Five,” is considered a possible candidate for Carlson’s old slot.
Beyond the 8 p.m. slot, the network has also seen a sharp decline in the 25-54 demographic in the 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9 p.m. time slots.
Since firing Tucker Carlson, Fox News Channel’s ratings in the all-important 25-54 demo have fallen off a cliff:
•6pm ET: -42%
•7pm ET: -62%
•8pm ET: -75%
•9pm ET: -70%
•10pm ET: -66%
•11pm ET: -49%
— Tyler Carditis (@TyCardon) May 3, 2023
The company said in a statement this week that the network will continue delivering the cable news coverage that has made it a ratings powerhouse in recent years.
“For more than 21 years, Fox News Channel has been cable news’ most-watched network in all categories with more Democrats, Independents and Republicans now tuning in than either CNN or MSNBC,” the company said.
“Attracting more than 50 percent of the cable news viewing audience with the top 12 programs in cable news, Fox News’ powerhouse team of journalists, analysts and opinion hosts are trusted more by viewers than any other news source,” it added.
The network still leads its competitors MSNBC and CNN by wide margins and has certainly gone through turnaround periods with the departures of top-level talents like Bill O’Reilly and the sexual harassment scandal of Roger Ailes. However, other networks, such as Newsmax, have seen an uptick in viewers.
“On the day Carlson was fired, Newsmax’s 8 p.m. offering, hosted by former Fox News host Eric Bolling, drew a competitive 531,000 total viewers, only about 200,000 behind CNN’s 8 p.m. hour,” noted the Washington Post.
As Newsweek highlighted, Tucker Carlson could take as much as a third of the Fox News audience with him should he launch his own independent internet show.
“Sixteen percent of Americans would be ‘significantly likely’ to watch an independent online show hosted by Carlson. This is according to a Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey of 1,500 U.S. eligible voters, conducted for Newsweek on April 30,” the outlet noted.
Tucker Carlson himself hinted at launching an independent news site in a statement released shortly after his ouster.
“True things prevail. Where can you still find Americans saying true things. There aren’t many places left, but there are some, and that’s enough. As long as you can hear the words there is hope. See you soon,” he said.
Paul Roland Bois joined Breitbart News in 2021. He also directed the award-winning feature film, EXEMPLUM, which can be viewed on Tubi, Google Play, YouTube Movies, or VIMEO On Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.