Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News has created a significant gap in the network’s programming, and this has been felt by both Fox News and its viewers. In the past week, Fox News Tonight, which took over Carlson’s time slot, experienced a notable decrease in viewership by 47% compared to Carlson’s program. The network is now tasked with the challenge of filling the shoes of one of its highest-rated prime-time stars, something that they have managed to do successfully before. Nevertheless, it is possible that the network will experience a tumultuous period from a ratings perspective in the short term.
Despite managing to top cable news competitors CNN and MSNBC in total audience, Fox News suffered a rare loss in the hour among the advertiser-coveted demographic of viewers age 25 to 54. CNN’s Anderson Cooper won the hour in the demo, followed closely by MSNBC’s All in With Chris Hayes, while Brian Kilmeade, who filled in for Carlson, scored lower in the category. Kilmeade’s lower performance suggests that he won’t be giving up his morning shift anytime soon.
The impact of Carlson’s departure is also being felt by other Fox News shows. Hannity averaged 2 million viewers, a decline of 20% from the previous week, while The Ingraham Angle scored 1.56 million, down 12%. Without the tentpole that Carlson’s program provided, the ratings for other Fox News shows were down as well.
In contrast, Newsmax appeared to be the beneficiary of Carlson fans looking for an alternative. Eric Bolling The Balance, a program on Newsmax, pulled in 562,000 viewers in the 8 p.m. Eastern hour, a fivefold increase over last Tuesday when Carlson was his competition. 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.
The firing of Tucker Carlson has left a gaping hole in Fox News’ lineup, and the network is feeling the effects of his absence. While the network has successfully replaced top-rated prime-time stars in the past, it remains to be seen how it will fare in the short term. Newsmax has already seen a surge in viewership, indicating that there may be a significant shift in the cable news landscape. Fox News will need to work hard to win back its audience and fill the void left by Tucker Carlson.
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