Fox News is on life support at this point, following its reckless and quite dumb decision to fire the #1 cable news host in American history. Fox has been bleeding viewers like crazy since Carlson’s departure, and it’s not stopping. Even Sean Hannity, who had remained a close second behind Carlson for the past several years, is now trailing his competitor on MSNBC. Every show on the network has lost ground, and it doesn’t look like the news consumers who were there for Tucker’s show will be coming back.
The ratings slide at Fox News has been described as a bloodbath by many people. No liberal boycott of Fox News sponsors has ever resulted in such a catastrophic loss of viewers. The loss of viewers is difficult to even express to most people who don’t follow the industry closely. Let’s put it this way. Fox News no longer has justification to charge as much for advertisers to buy 30- or 60-second ads on their station. They’ve lost the justification to charge as much since advertising rates are predicated on how many estimated eyeballs are watching your shows.
Tucker and Fox News have been a “chicken or the egg” type of question for the past several years. Is Fox News propping up Tucker Carlson or is Tucker Carlson propping up Fox News is a question many of us wonder. Now we know the answer.
Tucker has definitely been propping up Fox News.
Tucker Carlson Tonight had been averaging 3.2 million viewers per night and managed to hit as many as 4.5 million viewers at certain times of the year. In the history of cable news programs, no one has ever drawn numbers like that. It’s really astonishing.
Rupert Murdoch reportedly fired Tucker on Monday, April 24. By April 25, viewership during the 8 p.m. EST timeslot was down to 1.7 million. By Friday, April 28, only 1.3 million people were tuning in.
On the next Monday, one week after Tucker’s unceremonious and unwarranted dismissal, only 1.55 million viewers tuned in. The audience for the #1 cable news show has vaporized, and it doesn’t appear that they’re going to be coming back.
Pop quiz: Has Sean Hannity’s audience been authentic for the past few years, or have a lot of people who tuned in for Tucker Carlson’s show simply been leaving their TVs on, and it counts towards Sean’s audience?
We know the answer to that, too!
Sean Hannity’s numbers have cratered right along with the 8 p.m. timeslot that precedes his show. Hannity’s ratings were often around 100,000 fewer than Tucker Carlson’s. On Monday of last week, Hannity’s audience was a paltry 1.7 million viewers, the lowest number that his show had drawn in years. By comparison, Rachel Maddow’s show on MSNBC (whatever it’s called) drew 2.2 million viewers on the same night.
Every program in Fox News’ Primetime lineup has lost viewers. The Five and Jesse Watters are still putting up mildly respectable numbers and are barely holding on to the #1 spots in their timeslots. So is Brett Baier, for reasons we will never understand. Has anyone ever said out loud, “You know what? I’m a Brett Baier fan and I never miss an episode!” It’s possible his wife has never even said that. Especially after he called Arizona early in the 2020 election and infuriated the entirety of the MAGA movement.
Fox News is going to be flailing for a while after their suicidal decision to get rid of Tucker Carlson. They may never recover. Fingers crossed!