The sidelining of Tucker Carlson, a popular anchor on Fox News, has reportedly caused internal turmoil within the network as they scramble to find an appropriate replacement.
Carlson’s show was a significant draw, with an average viewership of 3.2 million people each night. In contrast, Fox News’ viewership at 8 PM on Tuesday was only 1.7 million.
Tucker Carlson’s Absence Leads to Declining Ratings
As per Jim Hoft’s reports, the network’s ratings have taken a significant hit, particularly in the critical 25-54 age demographic. The 8 PM slot, previously occupied by Carlson, reportedly lost two-thirds of its audience.
Attempts to reverse the network’s declining viewership with fill-in hosts, such as Brian Kilmeade, Lawrence Jones, and Kayleigh McEnany have reportedly not been successful.
Fox News has lost 2/3 of their viewers. FAFO! https://t.co/4B91qoVdIc
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) May 5, 2023
The reported sidelining of Tucker Carlson was purportedly a condition of Fox News’ settlement with Dominion Voting Systems.
This is per a conversation that Carlson had with one of Fox Corp.’s eight board members, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.
The board member, who remains unnamed, allegedly told Carlson that this condition was not explicitly stated in any of the settlement’s documentation, but was instead a verbal agreement.
If Fox News did not adhere to this condition, the settlement would be voided.
Dominion Leverages Settlement to Bench Tucker Carlson
Given that the settlement, valued at $787.5 million, was arranged to resolve Dominion’s defamation lawsuit against Fox News, Dominion had substantial leverage in this situation.
The settlement was not set to officially close until the end of May, giving Dominion ample opportunity to enforce the condition regarding Carlson’s benching.
If Dominion decided to nullify the settlement deal, Fox News would’ve had to either restart settlement negotiations or face a jury trial, potentially revealing more embarrassing details about the network’s operations and the fallout from its 2020 presidential election coverage.
While Tucker Carlson wasn’t as central to the lawsuit as Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, or Maria Bartiromo, Dominion was reportedly seeking the most effective way to weaken the conservative news network.
Since firing Tucker Carlson, Fox News Channel’s ratings in the all-important 25-54 demo have fallen off a cliff:
•6pm ET: -42%
•7pm ET: -62%
•8pm ET: -75%
•9pm ET: -70%
•10pm ET: -66%
•11pm ET: -49%
— Tyler Carditis (@TyCardon) May 3, 2023
Meanwhile, former President Trump has taken to criticizing Fox News, a network he once frequently praised.
Trump rebuked the network for the decision to let go of Carlson and for what he perceives as their refusal to promote his disputed theories about election fraud.