DEVELOPING STORY: Fox News Channel viewers are abandoning the network in historic numbers after the ouster of Tucker Carlson.
“I think that many conservatives have discovered they no longer have a friend at the Fox News corner of the world,” said former Fox Radio and Fox Nation host Todd Starnes.
Carlson garnered 2.65 million viewers last Friday — which would become his final show on the network. By Wednesday night, the viewership for the 8 p.m. time slot had plummeted to 1.33 million.
Fox News Channel is now in third place behind MSNBC and CNN during the 8 p.m. hour. Brian Kilmeade is currently hosting Carlson’s old time slot.
TvNewser reports that for the first time ever MSNBC host Chris Hayes beat Fox News in both the demo and overall viewers.
“It’s a bloodbath,” said former Fox News host Megyn Kelly. “They lost half their audience.”
It appears that many Fox viewers have switched to Newsmax — the American owned and operated conservative cable news channel. It’s total audience is up 187 percent.
“Conservatives are rewarding Newsmax for being fair and balanced,” said Starnes. “And I predict Newsmax will rapidly explode in growth. Americans are hungry for a network that they can trust. And Newsmax is that network.”
“Newsmax ratings Climb After Tucker Carlson’s Exit at Fox,” read The New York Times headline.
“Fox has been moving to embrace more of an establishment position,” Newsmax’s chief executive, Christopher Ruddy, said in an interview on Thursday. “They want to renounce some of the Trumpisms and populist MAGA stuff that Tucker was echoing.” Mr. Ruddy said he preferred to “embrace all sides of the Republican Party.”
The niche conservative news channel is still small compared with Fox News, but its viewership has doubled and in some time slots even tripled since Tucker Carlson was dismissed.
Fox News dismissed the ratings crash in a statement to Associated Press noting that Fox has been cable news’ most-watched network for 21 years with its team “trusted more by viewers than any other news source.”
Meanwhile, Kilmeade is facing massive backlash from conservatives and Trump supporters after he blasted Steve Bannon.
“You know, for Steve Bannon to come out and criticize Fox, really?” Kilmeade said on WABC radio. “This guy got, I guess, fired from the Trump administration, and then [he] hooked up with another writer and just ripped Trump from limb to limb? Then he gets himself in legal trouble and Trump pardons him, and now he’s a Trump loyalist.”
Giuliani, who appeared on Newsmax, ripped Kilmeade.
“Brian Kilmeade, who’s [been] tapped to sit in for Tucker this week, took a shot at Steve Bannon,” host Eric Bolling said. “Are they making it obvious that these – this Fox News group is just completely against the America First and MAGA crowd?”
“Yeah, it sounded to me like it’s all-out war that they’re engaging in,” Giuliani replied. “They behave like Democrats.”
“Brian is better than that,” Giuliani said. “I don’t know who put him up to doing that, but that’s like a cheap political attack, not the analysis of a journalist…Brian likes to think of himself as a journalist and he should try to act like one.”