Will this set off the same kind of Fox News panic that sparked the Dominion defamation suit?
Substitute host Brian Kilmeade garnered 1.33 million audience members during the 8 p.m. Eastern slot on Wednesday, down 56% from the 3.05 million viewers who tuned in to watch Carlson last Wednesday, according to Nielsen ratings flagged by the Associated Press.
Media Matters’ Matt Gertz noted that it’s an even bigger drop, 65%, in the coveted 25-54 year-old demographic. The drop off is also harming the Fox News shows that follow that time slot, Hannity and The Ingraham Angle. Those shows are “both down 33% or more in total audience and more than 40% in the demo,” Gertz tweeted.
Tucker garnered 3.05 million viewers last Wednesday -- Fox lost 56% of that audience in a week.— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) April 28, 2023
It's an even worse drop-off in the demo, 65%. https://t.co/cs00nYPnHp
The hit is broader than just Tucker's show -- Hannity and Ingraham are both down 33% or more in total audience and more than 40% in the demo.— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) April 28, 2023
Fox’s loss is MSNBC’s and Newsmax’s gain.
On Wednesday night, Fox News Tonight drew 124,000 viewers, which put Fox in third place behind All In with Chris Hayes (first place with 167,000 viewers) and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 (second place with 139,000 viewers). For MSNBC, Wednesday night’s ratings represented All In’s first win among total viewers since February 2021 and the first time it won in the key demo since January 2019. It was the first time the show had ever won both total viewers and viewers 25-54.
The 8 p.m. win helped push MSNBC to an overall win in the key demo across prime time, delivering an average audience of 153,000 viewers, ahead of Fox News (146,000 viewers) and CNN (125,000 viewers). Fox News still won prime time overall in terms of total viewers with 1.494 million viewers, followed by MSNBC (1.343 million viewers) and CNN (566,000 viewers). Newsmax, the conservative network that has filled its prime time hours covering Carlson’s ouster at Fox, climbed to 418,000 viewers in prime.
HuffPost notes, via AP, that Eric Bolling’s Newsmax show, The Balance, had 510,000 viewers Wednesday night, compared to 168,000 on Wednesday a week ago, On Tuesday, Bolling had 562,000 viewers, up from 122,000 the same day a week earlier.
The Dominion defamation case revealed that Fox News embraced the Big Lies about the 2020 election when their leaders panicked over losing viewers to Newsmax after Fox correctly called Arizona for Joe Biden in 2020. That panic cost the network $787.5 million when it settled the case. There are more cases pending.
What will Fox do about this? Stay tuned.
(Carlson image via screen grab)