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Fox News cable news ratings collapsed after the network took top-rated host Tucker Carlson off the air in late April. However, Fox News’ revamped primetime lineup outperformed competitors in July.
After Tucker Carlson’s program was canceled in April, “Fox News Tonight” temporarily filled the time slot with rotating hosts. On July 17, “Jesse Watters Primetime” made its debut in that time slot, averaging 2.4 million viewers on a weekly basis.
Greg Gutfeld’s time slot was also moved up an hour to 10 p.m. ET. In the 25-54 demographic, Gutfeld! averaged 1.98 million viewers and 252,000 viewers. With the latter, it finished behind Fox News’ “The Five,” which averaged 254,000, in that category. “The Five” had an average of 2.59 million viewers, making it the most-watched cable news program.
“In primetime, Fox News averaged 1.57 million viewers, down 26% from a year earlier. MSNBC averaged 1.12 million, down 13%, and CNN posted 534,000, down 27%. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 148,000, down 49%, compared to MSNBC with 108,000, down 19%, and CNN with 104,000, down 35%,” Deadline reported.
“In total day (6 AM-6 AM), Fox News averaged 1.07 million, down 21%, compared to MSNBC with 723,000, off by 5%, and CNN with 426,000, down 21%. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 122,000, down 37%, compared to CNN with 79,000, down 28%, and MSNBC with 75,000, down 11%. Among total viewers, The Five, with 2.59 million, topped all shows, followed by Jesse Watters Primetime with 2.4 million, Hannity with 2.16 million, Gutfeld! with 1.98 million, and The Ingraham Angle with 1.93 million. In the 25-54 demo, The Five averaged 254,000, followed by Gutfeld! with 252,000, Jesse Watters Primetime with 207,000, Hannity with 201,000, and The Ingraham Angle with 174,000,” the outlet added.
Both Watters and Gutfeld are dominating their slots over rivals at MSNBC and CNN, and it’s not close as Fox, in general, begins to retake the offensive the cable news wars.
Watters ended July with the top two rated shows on cable news in terms of total viewers: “The Five” and “Jesse Watters Prime Time.” Gutfeld, meanwhile, came in third place overall with his show Gutfeld! at 10 p.m. bringing in 1.983 million total viewers; he is also a co-host of “The Five.”
Last month, Fox reclaimed its previous position as the top-rated network on cable television, leading in both primetime and total day viewership. In the 25-54 demographic for total day viewership, it ranked second, with ESPN holding the top position.
The network also maintained its dominance for 29 consecutive months in both total day and primetime total viewership, outperforming its competitors. In primetime viewership, Fox News came close to surpassing the combined viewership of CNN and MSNBC.
A press release from Fox said:
FNC’s 5 PM/ET roundtable program The Five which has been number one in viewership for seven consecutive quarters, continued its streak with both categories, securing 2,591,000 viewers and 254,000 with A25-54. Evening newscast Special Report with Bret Baier (weeknights, 6 PM/ET) averaged 1,743,000 million viewers and 164,000 in the 25-54 demo.
Finishing the month as the highest-rated primetime lineup in all of cable, FNC is the only cable network to average over 1.5 million viewers in primetime. Notably, the new primetime lineup increased FNC’s share of the cable news audience versus the prior month from 41% to 48% in total viewers and from 34% to 42% with A25-54.
Kicking off the new lineup at 7 PM/ET, The Ingraham Angle garnered 1,926,000 million viewers and 174,000 in the 25-54 demo, continuing host Laura Ingraham’s streak as the most-watched woman in cable news.
Following at 8 PM/ET, Jesse Watters Primetime garnered 2,403,000 viewers and 207,000 with A25-54, making it the highest-rated program in primetime viewers and second overall behind only The Five. The program grew the timeslot by nearly 50% versus the prior month and posted double and triple-digit advantages over the competition on CNN and MSNBC.
Meanwhile, several recent reports have said that a handful of current Fox News talent have contemplated jumping ship and joining Carlson in a new media venture.
Carlson has launched “Tucker on Twitter” much to the chagrin of his former Fox bosses, and has already posted more than a dozen monologues. This week, he posted interviews featuring former Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer.
“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 noted last month.