Fox News might have seen its ratings plunge in the wake of Tucker Carlson’s ouster from his top-rated show. However, regarding Fox Corp.’s all-important advertising bottom line, Madison Avenue is rewarding the move.
“Fox News Tonight,” the post-Carlson rebranding of its 8 p.m. show, garnered 1.5 million views last Thursday in contrast with the 3 million viewer average during Carlson’s final week, Variety reported. He had the best-rated program in the crucial 25-54 advertising demographic for his timeslot.
Advertisers largely shunned Carlson’s firebrand, controversial program despite its wild audience popularity. This particularly became true after Carlson decried the mass importation of low-skilled migrants with poor educations instead of more educated immigrants in 2018. A boycott followed after Carlson said this “makes our own country poorer, and dirtier, and more divided.”
Products aimed at female viewers such as Venus razor blades by Gillette and Secret deodorant have returned since the cancellation.
“We have had over 40 new advertisers come into the hour since we launched the new program, including some of the largest in the country and, really, across all major categories,” Jeff Collins, executive vice president of ad sales at Fox News Media, said according to Variety. “We have seen new advertisers come in, and new demand.”
Carlson announced he plans to relaunch his program as a Twitter-only medium instead of accepting offers from Newsmax, Rumble, OANN, The Blaze, and others.
He became a convenient scapegoat for Fox management in the wake of the $787.5 million Dominion lawsuit even though court documents show that Carlson pushed back against unverifiable reports of voter fraud.
Many of the individuals who were more heavily involved in causing the Dominion lawsuit including Fox Business Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, and CEO Suzanne Scott remain actively employed by the network.
Carlson developed a reputation as someone who did not toe the company line, which may have contributed to his ouster.
Fox still faces a $2.7 billion lawsuit from voting-machine manufacturer Smartmatic.
Fox Confident Carlson was Expendable
Fox remains confident that the next Tucker Carlson could be around the corner despite the fact that his loyal viewers have deserted the network in droves since his ouster was announced. They look to the past and see that it survived the ouster of the network’s founder Roger Ailes, the firing of longtime host Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, and the departure of Megyn Kelly.
Fox appears confident its viewers will return. It appointed former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany to fill Carlson’s timeslot on a temporary rotating basis. Carlson fans filled her Twitter feed with vitriol after she announced she was filling in.
“Kayleigh, I love ya, but No.. I’m a Bit surprised you’d take a shot like that.. I was Fox’s biggest fan.. So they should listen to this.. Fox has Not been on my TV since Tuckers firing.. The smear campaign ended any chance of my coming back..,” a fan tweeted.
Another was even more to the point.
“Dear Kayleigh, how can it be an honor to host Tucker’s slot after Fox not only fired him, but they are actively trying to ruin him!? NO NO NO!,” wrote one Twitter user.
Conservative historian Victor Davis Hanson warned Fox that it will not be able to replace Carlson.
“Each cut magnifies the prior one when you get rid of Bill O’Reilly. When you get rid of Megyn Kelly. When you call … Arizona too early. And you go up and down and Newsmax and competitors creep in and grab your audience. They’ve lost over $800 million in stock. Newsmax has doubled its audience … So I am not sure they can find somebody like [Tucker] to come in that is funny and affable, and knowledgeable,” Hanson told The Telegraph.