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The Primetime Ratings Collapse at Fox News Has Begun

The ratings drop on Fox News has begun following the bombshell news that the network had cut ties with Tucker Carlson. The man who earned Fox solid ratings and was one of the few, if not the only, host to push back against the GOP on its bad plays was nixed following reported disputes with the company brass. Rupert Murdoch is reportedly one of many narratives behind Tucker’s dismissal, allegedly queasy over his commentaries about January 6. There were other rumors about how he wanted to do a segment on the Dominion lawsuit. Fox has moved on from following a $787 million settlement with the voting machine company slapping the news organization with a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit. Dominion’s legal action follows the network’s pervasive 2020 election coverage, where they alleged the company was part of the operation to rig the 2020 election. 


Whatever the case, Tucker is gone, and the speculation regarding his departure will remain until he addresses it. Until then, Fox News has a serious staffing issue in finding an acceptable replacement, a search that will offer insight into how the network wants to move forward following the Dominion fiasco. The executives had to have known how this would have impacted the network. Fox lost $930 million when this news hit the wires, so the bleeding has begun. Can they recover (via Daily Caller):

Fox News abruptly parted ways with Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson, the network’s top primetime host, Monday morning. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” aired weeknights at 8 p.m. The replacement show, hosted by anchor Brian Kilmeade, garnered fewer ratings in the key age demo on its first night compared to Carlson’s average a week prior on Monday, April 17, according to ratings website Show Buzz Daily.

The program had rating of 0.24 in the 25-54 age demographic, while Carlson’s show saw a 0.37 rating in the same demographic April 17, the data shows. The show averaged nearly 2.6 million viewers in total, below Carlson’s show Monday, which averaged roughly 3.7 million viewers. 

Carlson’s final episode reeled in 2.65 million total viewers when it aired Friday, April 21, outpacing CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” and MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes.” In 2022, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” ranked second place in total cable news viewership with 3.3 million total viewers, according to Adweek. The program’s ratings only trailed behind Fox News’ non-primetime program, “The Five.” 


The primetime dominance Fox once held easily with Tucker is now gone. Where they go from here is bound to give many agita, especially with a key election on the horizon. Will Fox lift Carlson’s non-compete if that was etched into his contract? Will he be allowed to start his own company or media subscription service, which is what some journalists who have amassed large followings are doing?

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