Fox News Tonight‘s viewer count plummeted by about 700,000 on Monday night (24 April) following the ousting of host Tucker Carlson.
It was announced that same morning by Fox that Carlson would be leaving the network with immediate effect.
The decision was a shock to Fox News viewers – and likely to Carlson, who appeared to be unaware that he was leaving during his last show.
On average, Carlson’s programme had been earning about 3.3 millions viewers per night before his departure – people just love hearing his hot takes on M&Ms and climate change.
But, according to TVNewser, approximately 2,597,000 tuned in to Fox News Tonight, hosted by the first of a number of rotating hosts, Brian Kilmeade.
That’s a decline of more than 20 percent.
Although Fox News Tonight still earned more viewers than competing 8pm slots on MSNBC and CNN, it was still a drop of 21 percent for the usually popular programme.
Instead, Fox’s talk show The Five earned the highest cable news ratings on Monday with 3,220,000.
Fox announced Carlson’s exit on Monday morning with little explanation for the decision.
“Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” their statement had read.
“We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.
“Mr. Carlson’s last program was Friday April 21st. Fox News Tonight will air live at 8 PM/ET starting this evening as an interim show helmed by rotating FOX News personalities until a new host is named.”
It’s reported that, following Carlson’s near decade at Fox, he’s set to be paid out for the rest of his contract, which was renewed as recently as 2021.
Though it’s unclear how many years were left on the 53-year-old’s contract, high profile media personalities typically negotiate anywhere from one to six years.
Tucker’s departure caused Fox News Tonight’s viewership to drop by 20%. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox has not only caused a drop in viewership, but prompted the company’s share price to take a tumble with Market Insider saying Fox Corporation’s stock fell five percent, knocking $962 million off its market value.
Carlson is yet to comment on his departure from the show, but he has removed any mention of Fox from his Twitter bio.
Guest host Brian Kilmeade did point out the elephant in the room on Monday evening, telling viewers: “As you probably have heard, Fox News and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways.
“I wish Tucker the best. I’m great friends with Tucker and always will be.”