Hundreds of thousands of once loyal Fox News viewers are leaving the network in droves following Tucker Carlson’s firing.
Those viewers are apparently abandoning the network as they look for something fresh in his old time slot.
Fox drew 1.33 million viewers for hastily arranged replacement show Fox News Tonight hosted by Brian Kilmeade in Carlson’s old 8pm slot on Wednesday night.
It put Fox firmly in second place to liberal network MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who had 1.38 million tune in Wednesday, in a competition Carlson used to easily dominate, the Nielsen ratings company said.
Carlson offered his own alternative to both Kilmeade and Hayes on Wednesday, posting a two-minute monologue on Twitter at 8pm. By Thursday night, that video has been viewed 70 million times, according to the social media site.
Chris Hayes on MSNBC firmly beat Fox News on Wednesday night in a competition Tucker Carlson used to dominate without contest, the Nielsen ratings company said
Fox’s figures are down 56 percent from the 3.05 million viewers Carlson reached last Wednesday, Nielsen said.
Hayes spent around 15 minutes of his show talking about Tucker Carlson on his show and the fallout from his firing.
The discussion went into the culture at the right-wing network in the wake of Carlson’s leaked texts with former Fox personality Gretchen Carlson (no relation) giving her views.
For all of 2022, Carlson averaged 3.03 million viewers, second only to Fox’s ‘The Five’ as the most popular program on cable television.
Kilmeade had 1.7 million viewers on Tuesday and 2.59 million on Monday, when he told people who hadn’t already heard the news that Carlson would no longer be appearing on the network.
Carlson had 2.65 million viewers on Friday for what he didn’t know at the time would be his last show on Fox.
He was fired on Monday with no explanation given publicly, although there are no shortage of theories – including a former employee’s lawsuit that cited a toxic work atmosphere at his show, offensive statements by Carlson that came out as part of the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox and his embrace of political conspiracy theories about the January 6 insurrection.
In the Twitter clip Tucker posted online, which has been seen across the world, he spoke blisteringly of the people trying to ‘silence’ truth-tellers.
He said: ‘The liars who have been trying to silence them shrink, and they become weaker. That’s the iron law of the universe: true things prevail.’
The video was set live just after 8pm Eastern Time – the exact same time as his old Fox News time slot.
Fox News only managed to pull in 1.33 million viewers for hastily arranged substitute host Brian Kilmeade for who presented on Carlson’s old 8pm slot on Wednesday night
The massive drop in viewing figures comes after Carlson’s departure from Fox News whose show had consistently dominated the time period and was most viewed show in cable news
The ratings slump echoes what happened at Fox following the 2020 election, when many viewers angered by the network’s crucial election night declaration that Joe Biden had won Arizona followed then-President Donald Trump’s advice to seek alternatives.
That caused tremendous angst behind the scenes at Fox, which was illustrated in documents released as part of the Dominion case.
When asked for comment, Fox responded with a statement noting that Fox has been cable news’ most-watched network for 21 years with its team ‘trusted more by viewers than any other news source.’
In the wake of Carlson’s firing, viewing at the conservative network Newsmax has shot up for Eric Bolling, who hosts a show in the same 8pm Eastern slot.
For example, Bolling had 510,000 viewers Wednesday night, compared to 168,000 on Wednesday a week ago, Nielsen said. On Tuesday, Bolling had 562,000 viewers, up from 122,000 the same day a week earlier.
The challenge for Newsmax will be making it last.
Fox surged again following Biden’s inauguration as president, and Newsmax couldn’t keep up the momentum.
Tucker Carlson Tonight ran from 2016 until 2023, and regularly attracted more than 3 million viewers a night
Tucker Carlson was spotted driving a golf cart with his wife, Susan, the day after his firing