About 1 Million Viewers Stopped Watching Fox News After Tucker Carlson’s Exit: Analysis

About 1 Million Viewers Stopped Watching Fox News After Tucker Carlson’s Exit: Analysis
Tucker Carlson during 2022 FOX Nation Patriot Awards at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, in Hollywood, Fla., on Nov. 17, 2022. (Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

An analysis of primetime ratings shows that Fox News has seen an approximate decline of 1 million total viewers on average for its primetime lineup after the departure of Tucker Carlson in late April.

In the four weeks before Carlson left the network, Fox News’ primetime hours averaged some 2.6 million total viewers. But in the four weeks after his departure, those hours are down to just 1.6 million viewers, a decline in 39 percent, according to an analysis from Mediaite.

The 8 p.m. hour that Carlson used to have also declined significantly, according to ratings. Carlson had averaged some 3.2 million viewers in the weeks before he left, but the replacement show—”Fox News Tonight”—is down to 1.49 million viewers on average.

When announcing Carlson’s exit, Fox News signaled that the new program would be temporary and would include a rotating cast of hosts. Brian Kilmeade, Lawrence Jones, Will Cain, Kayleigh McEnany, and former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) have hosted the 8 p.m. show in the meantime.

“Fox News Tonight” saw a bump in ratings on May 23 after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared on the show and gave an interview with Gowdy, coming after the Republican governor announced his 2024 presidential bid. That interview saw about 1.96 million viewers and also drew 186,000 in the key 25–54 advertising demographic, according to Nielsen ratings.

Just minutes before, DeSantis appeared in a Twitter event alongside CEO Elon Musk, where he announced his White House run. It came after months of speculation about the Florida Republican’s presidential aspirations.

And the latest ratings for Fox News, released on May 24, show that “The Five” was the No. 1 show, generating 2.4 million viewers. However, none of Fox News’ other shows—or other shows on other cable news channels—for that day eclipsed the 2 million mark.

Earlier this month, a Fox News spokesperson responded to the Carlson-linked drop in primetime ratings, saying that the network is still the No. 1 cable news channel.

“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,” Fox News said at the time. “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.”

About two weeks ago, rumors surfaced that Fox News would alter its primetime lineup and would move Sean Hannity to the 8 p.m. timeslot. A spokesperson for Fox at the time told The Epoch Times that no decision has been made on its primetime programming schedule, while the network also refuted what it described as left-wing claims that host Laura Ingraham would be booted from the network.

“Reports based on various tweets by left wing activists are wildly inaccurate. Laura Ingraham, the top-rated woman in cable news, is now and will continue to be a prominent host and integral part of the FOX News lineup,” the spokesperson said.

The Epoch Times has contacted Fox for comment on the Mediaite analysis.

Survey Results Come In

In the meantime, Carlson has not publicly addressed why he left the network. Fox executives, too, have mostly remained mum on why he departed. His most recent update came via Twitter in which he released a short video announcing a new Twitter-based show, although no details were given about the timing.

Protestors Call On Advertisers To Pull Their Ads From Fox News
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 13: Traffic on Sixth Avenue passes by advertisements featuring Fox News personalities, including Bret Baier, Martha MacCallum, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity, adorn the front of the News Corporation building, in New York City, on March 13, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

But Carlson appears to remain a popular and trusted media figure among Americans. A recent Gallup survey found that the former Fox host was the No. 1 most-followed host in the United States.

In that survey, he gained 113 mentions, while MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was No. 2 with 107 mentions. Tied for No. 3 was Fox News host Sean Hannity and Trevor Noah, a comedian who formerly hosted Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” Both had 57 mentions.

Daily Wire host Ben Shapiro was tied for No. 4 with late show Stephen Colbert with 56 mentions each, according to the Gallup survey.

“Americans follow their favorite public individual for news and information because they like their personality (80 percent) and trust the individual (79 percent),” according to Gallup. “More than seven in 10 Americans also say they turn to their top public individual for ‘a perspective I can’t find in traditional news outlets.’ Being entertained also tops the list.”

Former Fox host Megyn Kelly, in an interview with the channel Newsmax, signaled that Carlson’s audience could follow him wherever he goes. That could be a bad omen for Fox News if he decides to keep his 8 p.m. ET timeslot.

“What if Tucker went someplace and actually launched a live broadcast at 8:00 [p.m. ET]? They’d get seriously hurt even worse than they have,” Kelly stated. “We are four weeks post-Tucker’s termination in the anchor desk role at 8:00 p.m., and they are down 64 percent in the key advertising demo[graphic] … they’ve lost two-thirds of their younger audience and more than half of their older audience in the 8:00 p.m.”

From The Epoch Times

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