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Fox News anchor Sean Hannity said he was “stunned” after learning that the network had parted ways with longtime host Tucker Carlson.
Speaking on his radio show “The Sean Hannity Show,” Hannity — whose 9 PM ET program on Fox News begins immediately after Carlson’s now-former time slot — admitted that he had no idea that Carlson would be leaving.
“It’s very hard,” Hannity said. “My phone has been blowing up. The hard part for me is I don’t have a clue … I have no idea. Was it Tucker’s decision? Was it Fox’s? Was it a mutual agreement that they had? I don’t know. I guess people think that because I’ve been there the longest I’d have some knowledge or understanding of what’s going on, but… I just don’t.”
Carlson’s abrupt departure from Fox News appears to be impacting other hosts, including Hannity.
The Epoch Times published a report detailing how several primetime hosts suffered massive drops in cable news ratings last week.
Carlson’s finale a week ago drew 2.65 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The data shows that Brian Kilmeade’s substitute hosting gig for “Fox News Tonight” saw ratings of 2.59 million on Monday, 1.7 million on Tuesday, and 1.33 million on Wednesday, respectively. Last Wednesday, Carlson drew about 3 million viewers, Nielsen figures show.
But the 9 p.m. Fox News program hosted by Sean Hannity drew about 2.5 million on Monday, 2 million on Tuesday, and 1.7 million on Wednesday night, according to Nielsen. In comparison, Hannity drew about 2.6 million viewers the Wednesday a week before, the ratings show.
Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle” drew 2.156 million on Wednesday, April 19. But this past Wednesday, two days after Carlson was confirmed gone, her show drew 1.55 million viewers.
Jesse Watters’ show also saw a decline. For Wednesday, it saw an audience of 1.558 million, but a week prior, it generated 2.1 million.
Over the weekend, neighbors and residents of a small Maine town where Carlson spends his summers have revealed his state of mind immediately after he was taken off the air.
Following his firing from Fox News, Carlson received messages of support from locals in Woodstock, Maine, where he spends most of his summers.
Despite being a polarizing figure in the national political scene, residents in Woodstock describe Carlson as a good neighbor, and they say they have never experienced any antagonism from him in person.
“More time for fishing?” friend and carpenter Patrick Fenney asked Carlson in a text message at around lunchtime on Monday, the day CEO Suzanne Scott reportedly told the now-former host his show was being taken off the air.
“He called me back at 1 and said he found out about it a half hour before I did,” Fenney told the news outlet on Tuesday as he stood inside Carlson’s satellite TV studio that he helped Carlson build in an old barn downtown.
“He told me it started out as a normal day. He got up, wrote the show, and then he got the phone call saying it was all over and that they were going to announce it,” Fenney said. “He was pretty shocked. He asked them why and they wouldn’t give him a reason.”
However, he said that Carlson also was not upset.
“He was not upset at all. He said that maybe he’d fish a little more this summer,” said the carpenter.
During the summer, he is a familiar face in town, often working from his studio on Main Street and taking breaks to chat with neighbors or greet fans who have traveled from out of state to meet him.
He can also be seen doing yardwork, chopping wood, or painting shingles on his house. The stately home is located on a small island in Lake Christopher, just a few hundred feet from the shore, said the report.
“You could walk down the road and knock on the next five doors, and people wouldn’t be able to tell you who the vice president is,” said Fenney. “They got other things to worry about. They don’t care. What they care about is if you don’t get your firewood and split it, you’ll freeze to death.”
He also said Carlson is “a very modest, not a fancy person.”
Others, including Susan Hatstat, 37, who works at a convenience store Carlson frequents when he is in town, agree.
“We always see him driving around in his old pickup truck,” she said. “He’s actually just a really good guy, always super polite. He’s normal when he’s here, nice to everybody. He doesn’t act like a celebrity. He comes here, grabs snacks, gets treats for his dogs.”
“I like him, and his family’s really nice,” she continued in an interview with the news outlet. “His brother Buckley’s always here, and his nephew. Tucker’s been coming up here his whole life.”