Fox News has lost average 1 million primetime viewers since ousting Tucker Carlson: Report

 May 30, 2023

A recent analysis of cable news ratings found that Fox News has lost an average of 1 million formerly loyal primetime viewers in the months since the network sidelined and silenced former top-rated host Tucker Carlson, The Epoch Times reported.

Yet, even though he has been off the air for the past several weeks, a recent survey showed that Carlson remains the most-trusted public individual that Americans turn to for analysis and commentary on new and current events.

Fox News suffers dramatic decline in viewership

Mediaite reported last week that Fox News had lost around a million total viewers per night during the primetime hours following the network's decision to essentially bench Carlson and silence his influential voice -- with Carlson's old time slot of 8 pm ET being particularly hard hit.

In the month leading up to Carlson's final show in late April, Fox News enjoyed a nightly primetime average viewership of 2.6 million, but that figure had declined by nearly 40 percent to an average of 1.6 million total primetime viewers in the month since Carlson's last appearance on the network.

For the 8 pm hour during that same span, Carlson had an average of 3.27 million total viewers in the month prior to his ouster but that number has fallen to around 1.49 million since Carlson was replaced by a rotating series of guest hosts.

Notably, however, The Epoch Times pointed out that even after that substantial post-Carlson drop in viewership, Fox News still remains dominant over its main cable news competitors like CNN and MSNBC.

Where did Carlson's viewers go?

Mediaite sought to determine where the roughly 1 million per night former Fox News viewers have gone since Carlson's departure from the airwaves but acknowledged that the question is a difficult one to answer.

Newsmax, a smaller conservative cable news competitor, has enjoyed a substantial boost to its own viewership as its total primetime average has more than doubled to around 383,000 and is now regularly challenging CNN for third place in the nightly ratings war.

That is especially true for the 8 pm host for Newsmax, former Fox News host Eric Bolling, who has seen his average viewership also more than double from around 202,000 to 489,000.

However, the average increase in viewership for Newsmax only amounts to around 100,000 additional viewers per night, well below the estimated 1 million viewers per night that Fox News has lost, and given the high unlikelihood that those viewers have switched to left-leaning competitors like CNN and MSNBC, the question now becomes whether those viewers have switched off the TV and cable news altogether and whether there is anything Fox News can do to bring them back on a regular basis.

Carlson tops list of most liked and trusted "public individual" news sources

Meanwhile, The Epoch Times further reported that Gallup recently conducted a massive survey on how and from whom Americans obtain news reports and analysis and found that Tucker Carlson topped the chart of prominent "public individuals" who fulfill that particular role.

Of more than 2,800 respondents surveyed, more than 900 different individuals were mentioned as a favorite source of news and commentary, and of those, Carlson was at the top with 113 mentions, though he was followed closely by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow with 107 mentions.

As for the motivating factors behind why the various individuals were chosen, the top responses included that they were likable, trustworthy, provided a non-traditional perspective, were entertaining, and were perceived as being representative of aligned and shared beliefs.

It remains to be seen what Carlson will do next, but if he were to launch a new show in the near future -- particularly if aired during the 8 pm hour -- the roughly 1 million lost Fox News viewers could find a new home and it can't be ruled out that Fox News might suffer even further hemorrhaging of its viewership once its former top star is once again publicly broadcasting his popular message.

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