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‘The Five’ Back To Dominating Cable News Ratings After Longtime Host Leaves

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


If longtime “The Five” co-host Geraldo Rivera thought the show would never do as well without him, he’s mistaken.

The hit Fox News show is once again dominating all cable news programs in the ratings, particularly recently since the longtime liberal co-host left the network.

Rivera reportedly left the network amid disputes with former hosts, as some reports suggested Rivera was constantly fighting with co-host Greg Gutfeld. There were also notable on-air clashes between Rivera and then-colleague Dan Bongino, who has also since left the network.

The popular program has been dominating MSNBC and CNN in the 5 PM ET timeslot in recent weeks. The show has been leading its rivals at MSNBC and CNN by double digits.

On a recent day, “The Five” brought in 2.7 million total viewers compared to CNN’s Jake Tapper with 864,000. The “total day” viewership wasn’t close either as Fox News averaged 1.440 million, CNN was at 629,000, and MSNBC had 1.154 million for Tuesday.

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Rivera, a longstanding liberal personality, announced in late July that he would be leaving the network.

“Fox & Friends” played a montage of Rivera’s greatest moments and a host of Fox News personalities spoke about the longtime media personality and what he meant to them.

“I feel emotional and deeply moved. I will always remember this morning. It is something that I didn’t expect. This celebration is beyond anything we’ve ever done,” he said after the montage played. “Thank you. I am deeply – I am honored. I love Fox and the people at Fox. I always will. I will never let anyone separate us. I am beyond grateful, I love you for it.”

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“We reached an amicable conclusion with Geraldo over the past few weeks and look forward to celebrating him tomorrow on Fox & Friends which will be his last appearance on the network,” a Fox News spokesperson told Mediaite.

Fox News has rebounded well in recent months since revamping its primetime line-up following its decision to take star Tucker Carlson off the air in late April, which initially caused a huge loss of viewers, many of them bolting for rival conservative network Newsmax TV.

In fact, a handful of current Fox News talent have contemplated jumping ship and joining Carlson, according to several media reports. Carlson has been airing a version of his program on Twitter, most recently interviewing a leading libertarian-minded presidential candidate in Argentina.

“Carlson’s Twitter move could have additional reverberations with talent at the network. A handful of Fox anchors have reached out to Carlson directly or had their surrogates contact him to say they are eager to join whatever venture he starts on Twitter when their contracts are up, according to sources,” Media Post reported.

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Carlson currently remains under contract with Fox News at a reported $20 million a year, so he isn’t free to sign on with another network. Reports said his contract doesn’t expire until after the 2024 election, in January 2025.

Variety reported last month that Dominion’s defamation claims against Fox News rested mostly on accusations aired post-2020 election on programs hosted by Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, and Maria Bartiromo, the company wanted to hurt Fox and, as such, chose to press the network into cutting ties with its most popular talent: Carlson.

“That condition was intended to hurt Fox, and Tucker is just collateral damage,” a source familiar with the matter told Variety. “Dominion wanted to punish Fox, and it’s working.”

Variety also reported that Carlson was taken off the air as a condition of Fox’s recent defamation settlement:

On April 26, Carlson spoke by phone with one of Fox Corp.’s eight board members, who told the host that his recent benching was a condition of Fox News’ settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the conversation.

The unnamed board member told Carlson that the condition does not appear in any of the settlement’s documents, and instead was a verbal agreement. If Fox didn’t comply, the settlement was off, Carlson was told. Dominion had plenty of leverage given that the $787.5 million deal to settle Dominion’s defamation suit against the network wouldn’t officially close until late May.

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