Fox News firing Tucker Carlson may turn out to be the biggest mistake in the history of cable news.
Management completely misread the situation.
And now Tucker Carlson just crushed Fox News in this brutal contest.
When Fox News fired Tucker Carlson the Murdoch family and the rest of the channel’s top executives figured they would face a temporary hit in the ratings but the beat would go on because the Fox News brand — and not any one talent — was really the star of the network.
Puck’s Dylan Byers — who broke the story of Carlson’s firing — summed up the thinking of Fox News leadership as well as the rest of the media when he wrote, “if history is any guide, it’s the network that makes the talent, and not the other way around. The departures of Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly all inspired alarmist speculation that Fox News was facing an existential crisis, and at every turn the network not only proved durable, but grew stronger—a testament to the power of the brand among conservatives, the moat it has built in right-wing media, and its ability to cultivate and produce homegrown talent.”
But Fox News executives learned just where the saying “when you assume, you make an a– out of u and me” came from.
One month after Carlson’s firing the network is still facing a ratings crisis.
Viewership is down across the network with only two shows drawing in 2 million viewers.
The audience plunged 50 percent overall in Carlson’s old time slot and two-thirds in the coveted age 25-54 demographic, the viewers Fox News uses to set ad rates.
A new poll of likely Republican voters showed that firing Carlson destroyed consumer confidence in the network as the Murdochs were wrong and the viewers’ loyalty was to Carlson and not Fox.
The poll showed that Carlson had a net favorability rating of 59 percent compared to Fox being underwater with slightly more likely Republican voters holding an unfavorable view of the network.
NEW POLL: Tucker Carlson vs Fox News
Net favorability among Republicans:
• Tucker Carlson: +59%
• Elon Musk: +53%
• Fox News: -4%
April 28 – May 2 | 404 likely R voters pic.twitter.com/gQAIDwdJpo
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) May 18, 2023
There is no getting around this blunder for Fox News.
Fox News never provided a reason as to why it fired Carlson.
That allowed Carlson’s lawyers to put the word out that Fox News caved to Dominion Voting Systems and fired Carlson as part of a $787 million defamation lawsuit settlement.
Fox News prides itself on never backing down to outside pressure.
But in this case, it looks like Fox folded to its critics.
And viewers are not in a forgiving mood.
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