All hell is breaking loose at Fox News.
The network bet big that handing Tucker Carlson his walking papers would not affect the bottom line.
But Fox News fired Tucker Carlson and no one saw what happened next coming.
Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch believed the real star at Fox News was the Fox News brand itself.
In 2017 Murdoch fired Bill O’Reilly — the then-8 p.m. host on Fox and the top-rated show on cable news.
Fox News felt no pain as Murdoch moving Tucker Carlson into the 8 p.m. hour created a seamless transition and kept the Fox News ratings juggernaut chugging along.
Murdoch thought events would play out in a similar fashion if he fired Carlson and replaced him with another host from Fox News Channel’s assembly line.
That bet proved to be disastrous.
On the first night without Tucker Carlson, fill-in host Brian Kilmeade lost 20 percent of Carlson’s audience.
CNN’s Oliver Darcy wrote:
When Brian Kilmeade filled in on Monday evening for Carlson, who spent years as the unquestionable ratings king at Fox News, the channel drew an average of 2.6 million viewers and 294,000 in the key advertiser-coveted 25-54 demo, according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s very good by normal cable standards. It’s even good by Fox News standards. But, in context of the numbers his predecessor regularly posted, it was a notable dip.
Compare Kilmeade’s Monday ratings to the previous start of the weeks in which Carlson helmed the hour. When Carlson hosted on April 17, he averaged 3.2 million total viewers and 445,000 in the key demo. On April 10, Carlson averaged 3.1 million total viewers and 438,000 in the key demo. And on April 3, Carlson averaged 3.2 million total viewers and 435,000 in the key demo.
Night two was even worse as Fox News bled 50 percent of the audience Carlson attracted on a nightly basis.
“Oof—ratings for Tuesday dropped and for the first time in as long as I can remember, the 8pm hour on Fox News *LOST* part of the audience. The 7pm hour with Jesse Watters averaged 1.8 million viewers with 158k in the demo. ‘Fox News Tonight’ averaged 1.7 million and 149K in demo,” Darcy wrote on Twitter.
In what must worry Fox News executives, Newsmax — which bills itself as a conservative alternative to Fox News — tripled its 8 p.m. audience growing from an average of 122,000 viewers to 562,000 viewers.
Tucker Carlson built the youngest and most loyal audience in cable news.
Carlson attracted viewers not normally brought in by Fox programming because Carlson was one of the only voices in corporate media who questioned Joe Biden sending $113 million in taxpayer money to Ukraine, the racial divisiveness behind the Black Lives Matter and equity agendas, the increasingly violent actions of the transgender movement, and the establishment falsehoods about Trump supporters carrying out an insurrection on January 6.
Without Carlson on the air many conservatives view Fox News as part of the establishment where elites in both parties pretend to fight one another but really agree on all the major issues.
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