It is no surprise that Fox News has taken a hit recently with the departure of Tucker Carlson. The conservative powerhouse, which had been dominating cable news ratings for years, was knocked out of its top spot by rival MSNBC in key time slots.
Popular Fox News personality Greg Gutfeld has admitted that he’s considered taking over the 8 o’clock prime time slot formerly occupied by Carlson, but has decided against it due to his other popular shows on Fox.
“Obviously, it’s crossed my mind,” Gutfeld told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published this week.
He added a caveat: “If I did 8 o’clock, I would definitely not do The Five, and I would no longer do Gutfeld! Those just happen to be the two most popular shows on Fox these days. I would just do one show because I would prepare for that show like crazy.”
Gutfeld! executive producer Tom O’Connor has also said he believes the host would fill the 8 o’clock prime time slot well.
“I think he could probably be successful in any of the timeslots,” said O’Connor. “I mean, we were on at 3 in the morning East Coast time when we did ‘Red Eye,’ and people found us.”
The absence of Carlson from the channel has led to a significant decline in viewership and ratings across all categories.
Sean Hannity’s primetime show, which got up to nearly 2 million viewers in the final weeks of May, has fallen to around 1.7 million average in June so far.
For comparison, Hannity’s primetime show averaged around 3 million each night before Carlson’s departure. In terms of total day demo viewers (ages 25-54), Fox News just barely beat out MSNBC with 156,000 viewers compared to 155,000 respectively while CNN was third with 111,000 viewers – although MSNBC still remained ahead of Fox in prime-time demo viewership with 216,000 compared to 166,000 for Fox and 140K for CNN respectively.
Reporter Glenn Greenwald tweeted: “The 8 pm slot on Fox with Tucker was not only consistently number 1 in the key demo – 25-54 – but routinely had 400,000 viewers or more. Without Tucker, it’s crashed to worse-than-MSNBC levels: barely 100,000 people. Hannity is in 14th place, behind Joy Reid! A total collapse. It’s so clear Fox’s firing of Tucker was not just financially driven, bereft of the Murdochs’ and Paul Ryan’s ideological goals. Firing Tucker destroyed its prime-time ratings. There’s no argument Tucker’s twice-a-week Twitter postings compete with Fox. They want him silenced.”
It seems like this liberal pushback against conservative media outlets such as Fox may be backfiring – instead of causing an increase in their own viewership numbers they are helping further sink conservatives networks into oblivion by silencing their most powerful voices through defamation suits and other smearing tactics such as cancel culture and ‘canceling’. They’ll all go down together.
“Nielsen data regarding the week ending this past Sunday was shared on Twitter on Tuesday by A.J. Katz, a reporter specializing in the cable news business. According to the data, Fox’s primetime 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET viewership averaged 1,504,429. The average viewership for the more left-leaning MSNBC over the same time frame averaged 1,520,857, narrowly beating out the conservative network that has long been a leader in cable news viewership,” Newsweek reported.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.