Since they dismissed their number one host, Tucker Carlson, Fox News has felt a sharp financial blow. According to Forbes, Class A shares of Fox Corporation slid as much as 5.6 percent within 30 minutes after its news wing announced it immediately “agreed to part ways” with Carlson. That erased $700 million in market capitalization for the Rupert Murdoch-led firm.
The loss prompted Megyn Kelly, former Fox host who now has her own top-rated podcast and YouTube channel with over a million subscribers, to dub her ex-employer, “Foxweiser” – a reference to the fallout Budweiser experienced after transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney posted a promotional clip highlighting a collection of beer cans with his face on them. While the cans were not for retail sale, the marketing partnership was enough to cause many consumers to boycott the beer.
Anheuser-Busch reportedly has lost more than $5 billion in value since the alliance with Mulvaney.
The boycott of Bud, supported by many conservative voices including Kid Rock, John Rich, and Travis Tritt, may not tank the company. But it may be a while before the iconic brand earns back the trust and loyalty of its core consumer if it does at all. Despite its desperate attempts to reignite consumer loyalty with nostalgic ads, the company’s image continues to falter.
Kelly may have hit the nail on the head. The fallout following Tucker’s departure seems to parallel Budweiser’s unfortunate fate. Fox News Channel’s prime-time viewership dropped 29.6 percent from the previous week in its first week without him. Tweets poured in from viewers claiming they were canceling their Fox subscriptions.
However, this is not likely to be the end of the conservative cable news outpost.
A former executive at Fox News explained to 19FortyFive that they have confidence the conservative media darling will bounce back. It survived the sexual harassment scandal with Roger Ailes and some of its biggest female stars, including Kelly. It also (thanks to Tucker) managed to resuscitate itself after Bill O’Reilly’s ousting, another result of sexual misconduct allegations.
Loss of Trust in Media
While a big blow, Carlson’s exit may not be the sole reason for Fox’s decline in viewership.
The media landscape is becoming increasingly fractured, with more and more people turning to independent news providers. Some of these voices are supported by alternative channels such as Rumble while others are funded by subscription payments made directly to the talent such as Substack.
These new avenues and economic models offer hosts and anchors the freedom to speak their mind without fear of censorship or corporate control. Personalities such as Russell Brand and well-respected journalists like Bari Weiss and Matt Taibbi have all gone this route, refusing to peddle a narrative espoused by establishment media, which is increasingly seen to be colluding with government and big business in an effort to censor content. Such rebels have created successful platforms by earning their viewers’ trust and respect, something that network and cable news seem to be losing, and fast.
Room for All
Despite its recent woes, Fox News will stay afloat, even with a reduced market share. It continues to be a leading voice in conservative news and will be especially relevant as the 2024 presidential race heats up. Particularly the Republican primary which, with several viable candidates, is shaping up to be a hotly contested race, one sure to capture an audience for Fox. Independent sources won’t likely have the manpower and resources to run live, as-it-happens coverage, simply commentary.
Furthermore, despite Fox’s success, media has still been largely dominated by liberal-biased venues. From morning show quips to late-night skits, mainstream news entertainment has traditionally favored progressive voices, particularly since the rise of Donald Trump.
Popular hosts such as Jimmy Kimmel, Don Lemon, Rachel Maddow, and countless others have ferociously attacked conservative views and their pundits. While more and more right-leaning commentators like Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens, and Glen Beck have found an audience in the past decade, considering the scope and reach of the top left-leaning networks, there is still plenty of room on the playing field for conservative voices.
So while the “Succession” days for huge media conglomerates may be coming to a close, the top choice in conservative cable news is not likely to be canceled any time soon. This has less to do with one person’s departure than it does with the public’s disdain for the rise of corporate capture in general.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics, and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review.