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Podcaster and former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly argued that Fox News could be in serious trouble after the departure of Tucker Carlson, arguably their most popular host, last week.
Kelly said during a recent episode of her podcast that Carlson was the “only unique draw” that Fox News had before his departure was announced by the network. Morning show co-host Brian Kilmeade was tapped to perform hosting duties after Carlson left, although the initial ratings for his program saw a marked drop from the numbers that Carlson brought in a week prior and in March.
“Fox News is in a downward spiral that they’re going to have to claw to get themselves out of. This is an existential crisis for the channel and its primetime, which is how they make money… They live off of their primetime and the food has dried up,” Kelly said on her SiriusXM show, according to reports.
“You don’t need Fox anymore,” continued Kelly, who departed Fox News in 2017. “They’re not the monopoly in conservative media that they used to be—they’re just not. And so you take away the unique voice, the one thing that really is different over there. Tucker is different, he just comes at things from different angles.”
With Carlson’s departure, Fox News is “taking away the one unique—truly unique—draw they had,” Kelly added. She did not address how Carlson had taken over the timeslot from former host Bill O’Reilly, who in 2017 was forced out due to allegations of misconduct. Carlson eventually became the network’s No. 1 personality and remained so right up until he departed last week.
Kelly added to Sky News that he will likely “exceed” Fox News’ viewership after leaving the network but added the caveat that it will take “a while” for him “to get there.” She added, “It’s a much more authentic, real business model—I think Tucker will thrive.”
During her Friday radio program, Kelly alleged that “Tucker Carlson hasn’t actually been fired” by the network and appeared to cite what she said was an anonymous source for her claim. “He’s still an employee of Fox News Channel,” she added, saying that Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott said he wouldn’t be allowed to continue his show and was denied access to the company’s email account.
When The Epoch Times asked about Kelly’s comments on Carlson’s alleged ouster, a Fox News spokesperson pointed to a company statement issued last Monday. No other comment was given.
For his part, Carlson released one video on April 26 that did not address the situation around his departure, whether he was fired, or what reason was given to him. Instead, he criticized the state of the U.S. media in general, accusing news organizations of focusing on nonsensical topics that leave little lasting impact.
“The other thing you notice when you take a little time off is how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are,” he said. “They’re completely irrelevant. They mean nothing. In five years, we won’t even remember we heard them. Trust me, as somebody who participated.”
He asked: “Where can you still find Americans saying true things? There aren’t many places left, but there are some and that’s enough. As long as you can hear the words, there is hope. See you soon.”
Carlson’s finale on April 21, a Friday, drew 2.65 million viewers, according to ratings company Nielsen. Kilmeade’s substitute hosting gig for “Fox News Tonight,” what Fox described as a temporary replacement show, 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, the Nielsen figures show.
It’s not just “Fox News Tonight” that has seen a plunge in viewership. For Sean Hannity’s 9 p.m. show, which used to come on after Carlson’s program, Nielsen data shows that he drew about 2.5 million on Monday, 2 million on Tuesday, and 1.7 million on Wednesday night.
A spokesperson for Fox News last week told The Epoch Times that “Fox News led cable news on Monday and Tuesday across total day and primetime with viewers and [age] 25-54,” referring to the demographic coveted by advertisers and networks alike.
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