The backlash over Fox News Channel’s decision to “part ways” with top-rated host Tucker Carlson continues to take a huge bite out of the once-dominant cable news network’s ratings.
MSNBC beat Fox News in demo ratings at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm on Friday by an average of 35 percent in each time slot.
Fox News is suffering a cataclysmic primetime ratings drop following its firing of Tucker Carlson. https://t.co/XkNaMCBFap
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) May 8, 2023
Carlson’s former 8 p.m. time slot has lost roughly half of its viewers since the announcement that he would be exiting the network. While some insiders believe that at least a sizable segment of that audience will ultimately return, a number of prominent conservative figures and pundits are calling for a robust boycott.
Alternatives like Newsmax and Blaze TV have seen their numbers increase in response to the Fox News exodus. Former Fox News Channel host Megyn Kelly, however, asserted that her former employer is counting on viewers to put this controversy behind them and come crawling back to the channel — particularly as the 2024 presidential election season heats up.
“They are banking on you coming back to them,” she said in a recent episode of her podcast. “They got a debate in August. You can’t resist. You’ll go. You’ll forgive everything. They’re banking on it.”
Retired NFL star Brett Favre shared a video on Twitter that included Kelly’s comments combined with clips from Carlson’s now-canceled prime-time show. The end of th
The clip ends with an appeal to viewers: “Show Tucker you stand with him. Stand with Tucker. Boycott Fox News!”
For his part, Favre confirmed that he is “with Tucker” and would “boycott Fox until they come to their senses and let the man speak.”
Former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon also encouraged a boycott, asserting that there is “no reason to watch” the network anymore.
As for whether a Fox News boycott can will have staying power, University of Notre Dame political science professor Darren Davis indicated that “a great deal depends on where Tucker Carlson lands,” adding: “There are no real or legitimate alternatives to the Fox News brand, and there are no alternatives that can sustain the conservative appetites of the lost viewers.”
It remains to be seen whether his assessment is correct; but for now, Fox News continues to feel the impact of its decision to sever ties with a wildly popular host.