It is clear that Fox News’ decision to take Tucker Carlson off the air has had serious implications for their ratings. Since his departure, the network has seen a significant drop in viewership, and long-time host Sean Hannity is struggling to win his own timeslot on most nights.
AdWeek reported that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow beat Hannity in the 8 PM ET time slot on Monday, bringing in 2.40 million total viewers compared to his 1.95 million. The numbers indicate that Hannity’s primetime show has been feeling the heat since Carlson was abruptly ousted.
Hannity’s show, which got up to nearly 2 million in May, has fallen significantly short of its 3 million average each night before Carlson’s exit with only a 1.7 million average this July so far.
As a result of these struggles, Fox News was knocked from its top perch by left-wing rival MSNBC in key time slots according to Nielsen data shared by A.J Katz on Twitter Tuesday; MSNBC’s primetime 8 p.m. to 11 p.m ET viewership averaged 1,520,857 while Fox News came with an average of just 1,504,429 – narrowly beating out conservative network who have long been leaders in cable news viewership according Newsweek reports.
This marks a major shift as Fox News had maintained an impressive streak of 120 weeks as leader viewer weekly primetime viewership – falling just short of two years and four months – but now must face the reality that it may not always reign supreme over its competitors.
As part of their response plan for these changes, last week Fox revealed its brand new prime-time lineup including popular host Jesse Watters taking over Tucker Carlson’s old time slot at 8 p.m., Laura Ingraham moving from 10 p .m., Sean Hannity staying at 9 pm and Greg Gutfeld moving to 10 pm with Trace Gallagher coming up at 11 pm .
Watters noted his “Jesse Watters Primetime” program will continue to cover stories the mainstream media ignores when it officially moves into its new spot; he also said that, unlike many other news outlets, his show is “in touch with American people.”
Fox News’ current situation serves as an important reminder of how quickly fortunes can change within media industries such as television networks and cable news broadcasting stations must remain competitive and aware of ever-changing trends if they do not want to find themselves behind their rivals like what happened here after Carlson’s abrupt removal from airwaves.
It remains unclear how much longer Fox will be able to maintain its status among industry giants or whether it will need additional steps beyond small reformations like those above if they are going to reclaim its title any time soon from competitors such as MSNBC .
Since being taken off the air, Carlson has begun posting short monologues to Twitter, which Fox says is a violation of his contract.
The network has sent him a cease-and-desist letter, though so far, he has refused to do so, arguing that Fox violates their contract with him.