Fox News' Ratings Reach Dumpster Fire Territory

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

As I’ve written the last few days, Fox News’ has fully well and decided to burn their audience to the ground (see Fox News Decides to Fully Set Themselves On Fire as Ratings Collapse). What the motivation behind that is may not be completely clear, but things were taken far enough that even Tucker Carlson threw shade at the formerly top rated cable station’s management last night (see Civil War: Tucker Carlson Hits His Own Network In Epic Post-Election Monologue).

Now, it’s becoming apparent that things are even worse than originally thought. The ratings for Saturday are out, and they are an absolute disaster for Fox News.

These are time slots that Fox News normally dominates almost top to bottom. Instead, they are getting beaten by MSNBC and CNN almost across the board. While some of this can be explained by Democrats tuning in for more coverage of Joe Biden, that doesn’t explain the drop in numbers for each individual Fox News show in comparison to their normal ratings. People are tuning out, and it’s becoming very obvious why.

I’m sure you will see some of these numbers rebound during the week because of the sheer magnitude of the audiences of Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity. Yet, doesn’t that point to the broader problem? How long can Fox News continue to survive off the spoils of three hosts who the hard news division continues to spit on? As Carlson pointed out last night, you can’t simply cut away from coverage you don’t like as if you are CNN light and expect people to trust you. The trust deficit at Fox News, specifically regarding the hard news division, is at an all time low. People have been lied to and misled by partisan figures like Chris Wallace for much of the election season. If Trump is ousted from the presidency, the angst will only grow.

Will the management realize this and begin to offer apologies for some of their bad decision making? With Paul Ryan in charge, I have my doubts. But there’s no doubt that’s what it will take to regain their footing. When the hard news hosts operate in bad faith, taking shots at their own audience, that never works out well. If changes are made, and made fast, those people are going to end up at another network or website.

(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)