Fox's Post-Tucker Numbers Show Actions Have Consequences

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Fox “parting ways” with Tucker Carlson was an insane move by any standards of business, given how popular his show was on the network.

As we noted, it didn’t seem to have affected Carlson’s mood, as he seemed to be having a good time with his wife down in Florida. He also put out a video on Twitter. While he didn’t talk specifically about the “parting of the ways,” I think he was making it clear that he wasn’t going to be silenced.

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But it is affecting Fox. They’ve taken a huge hit in just one day since the news broke on Monday.

They had Fox host Brian Kilmeade stand in for Carlson on Monday night and for now intend to have rotating hosts. It’s safe to say that did not go well. With some rubberneckers tuning in to see what would go on, he got 2.6 million people. But then the next night on Tuesday, it dropped like a stone to 1.7 million.

While they “won” the night (because everyone else still was awful), the difference between the draw of Tucker versus without him was stark. While they beat MSNBC’s Chris Hayes’ 1.45 and CNN’s Anderson Cooper with 678,000, Carlson averaged 3.3 million last year, and just two weeks ago, he had 3.2. million.

There was also another important thing that took a hit — the vital 25-54 demographic. Fox landed in third place with that all-important group.

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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. [….]

In 2022, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” ranked second place in total cable news viewership with 3.3 million total viewers, according to Adweek.

It wasn’t only Tucker’s slot that was affected, other shows were hit with a decline as well without the strong lead-in that Tucker provided. Newsmax for instance benefitted from people’s anger at Fox:

Without the tentpole that Carlson’s program provided, the ratings for other Fox News shows were down as well. “Hannity” averaged 2 million viewers, a decline of 20% from the previous week. “The Ingraham Angle” scored 1.56 million, down 12%.

Newsmax appeared to be the beneficiary of Carlson fans looking for an alternative. “Eric Bolling The Balance” pulled in 562,000 viewers in the 8 p.m. Eastern hour, a fivefold increase over last Tuesday when Carlson was his competition (with guest Elon Musk). Bolling is a former Fox News host.

The rest of the Newsmax lineup saw a lift as well, with the audiences for “Rob Schmitt Tonight,” “Prime News” and “Greg Kelly Reports” all doubling in size from a week ago.

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So we’ll have to see how this shakes out, but it’s clear this is going to hit Fox right in the pocketbook.

What’s truly funny is that his remarks from Twitter already have far more viewers than the Fox offerings in his timeslot, with over 7.4 million views of his remarks (and 22 million impressions of his tweet) as of this writing and likely a lot more to come.

That says everything right there. Actions have consequences, and Fox should be listening. If they’re not and they don’t change course, they may be as finished as any of the other liberal media outlets.

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