OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former fans of Fox News continue to bail on the right-leaning network in the wake of the dismissal of top-rated host Tucker Carlson.
What’s more, some are not happy with his replacement.
On Monday, former Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany took to social media to announce that she’ll be sitting in Carlson’s old chair this week as the network continues rotating guest hosts in and out of the time slot before deciding who will take over permanently.
Join me all this week at 8pm ET on @FoxNews as I host Fox News Tonight! pic.twitter.com/WUS49bpcGJ
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) May 8, 2023
But that said, if Fox execs believed she could entice many of its former viewers back with a solid conservative and ‘Trump girl,’ they were mistaken, it appears.
“No way in Hell! I hope you fail right along w FOX. Turning on Trump, who made you famous, was your demise,” one user wrote.
No way in Hell! I hope you fail right along w FOX. Turning on Trump, who made you famous, was your demise.
— 🇺🇸ProudArmyBrat (@leslibless) May 8, 2023
“Sorry Kayleigh, I have the greatest respect for you, but Fox really messed up and I don’t trust them any longer,” said another.
Sorry Kayleigh, I have the greatest respect for you, but Fox really messed up and I don’t trust them any longer
— Linda (@Linvan49) May 9, 2023
“No. We leave with Tucker,” another added.
No. We leave with Tucker.
— 𝕄𝕠𝕤𝕖𝕤 ✞🇻🇮 (@Isaiah545251391) May 8, 2023
I’m done with Fox News.
— God Bless the USA (@tek22gbp) May 9, 2023
“You were the conservative girl next door and we loved you. Trump also loved you and helped you get where you are. But you sold your soul and stabbed our president in the back and now you want us to mindlessly watch you spin the globalist narrative. That’s a hard pass. Thanks,” yet another said.
Meanwhile, Fox News’ ratings continue to crater following the network’s decision to pull Carlson off the air, who still remains with Fox under contract until January 2025.
“Fox News’ ratings for primetime slots among key demographics of cable television viewers have declined sharply since the departure of Tucker Carlson, with the latest figures showing rival MSNBC overtaking the conservative juggernaut,” Newsweek reported on Tuesday.
“Cable news ratings show that in the two weeks since the host was fired, figures for Carlson’s former spot have dropped by around 50 percent, while the network’s audience among 25- to 54-year-olds had shrunk by two thirds,” the report added.
Fox News announced on April 24 that Carlson had left the network after a defamation case was settled against it by Dominion Voting Systems over claims made by Trump allies that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. In a statement, Fox News said the two parties had “agreed to part ways” and thanked Carlson for “his service to the network.”
It’s not at all clear that Fox’s settlement with Dominion had anything to do with the decision to let Carlson go.
Tucker Carlson Declares War On Fox News – They Won't Know What Hit Themhttps://t.co/XQ7necsxZU
— Conservative Brief (@ConservBrief) May 9, 2023
Newsweek noted further:
According to viewing figures produced by Adweek, a trade publication, for the evening of May 5, Carlson’s former 8 p.m. ET slot attracted an audience of 90,000, while at the same time MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes was seen by 145,000, among viewers aged 25-54.
In the other primetime slots at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on May 5, Fox News’ offering was outpaced in viewership among the key demographic by MSNBC by 44,000 and 31,000 respectively.
By comparison, Carlson’s final show on Friday, April 21 attracted more than 2.6 million viewers—270,000 in the 25-54 age bracket—while nearly 1.4 million watched the same slot on MSNBC. His departure was only publicly announced the following Monday.
Axios reports that Carlson remains under contract with Fox News at a salary of around $20 million per year, and the contract runs through January 2025. Fox’s plan is to keep Carlson under contract, which would prevent him from catching on with a rival network or even starting his own and taking his massive audience with him.
But that isn’t sitting well with the former top-rated host, the report said.
“Carlson is preparing to unleash allies to attack Fox News in an effort to bully the network into letting him work for — or start — a right-wing rival, sources close to him,” told the outlet, the report said.
High-powered Hollywood attorney Bryan Freedman told Axios: “The idea that anyone is going to silence Tucker and prevent him from speaking to his audience is beyond preposterous.”