Fox News yanking Tucker Carlson off the air was the most controversial move in the network’s history.
Viewers erupted in outrage over Fox canceling their most popular host.
And you won’t believe how many people stopped watching Fox News after Tucker Carlson’s firing.
Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch and the executives working underneath spent years trying to position the network as the real star above and beyond any one talent.
Murdoch wanted viewers to tune in to watch out of loyalty to Fox News instead of a specific host.
That theory held up when Fox News fired Bill O’Reilly amid a scandal over payments O’Reilly made to settle sexual harassment claims.
Carlson slid into O’Reilly’s time slot and did not miss a beat.
And in the fall of 2020, Carlson drew in a record more than five million viewers a night – an audience that was larger than that watching the NBA Finals.
So when Murdoch fired Carlson he figured he could insert another interchangeable part from the assembly line of hosts and ratings would not take a dip.
But Fox News was in for a rude awakening.
Ratings dipped 30 percent across the board after Carlson left.
Carlson’s old time slot lost more than 50 percent of its audience.
And an Economist/YouGov poll showed that viewers may not be returning anytime soon as 26 percent say they are watching less Fox News after the network fired Carlson.
The survey asked respondents to indicate how much they have watched Fox News since the former prime time host’s departure and found more than one-quarter, 26 percent, indicating that they watch Fox News “less often” since the network announced it parted ways with Carlson. Sixty percent said they watch Fox News “about the same,” and 14 percent said they watch it “more often.”
The percentage of Republicans who watch Fox News less often now is even greater than the overall total, as 36 percent said they watch the network less often in the wake of Carlson’s absence. Twenty-six percent of independents said the same.
Fox News never gave any explanation for why it fired Carlson.
Many viewers suspected it was because Murdoch didn’t want as many pro-Trump hosts on the air heading into the 2024 election.
That fear is also fueling the Fox News boycott by some viewers.