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Frustrated conservatives are sending Fox News a very clear message: they’ve had enough of the political games and disrespect and are packing their bags and leaving in droves. If you thought Tuesday’s ratings were bad for Fox – and they were – Wednesday’s were far worse.
After parting ways with Tucker, Fox News temporarily placed establishment flunkie Brian Kilmeade in Tucker’s former 8:00 pm time slot. That primetime spot is a coveted and offers huge lead-in potential Sean Hannity. Since Tucker’s departure, Fox has lost its lead-in viewers, causing Hannity’s numbers to fall dramatically. Wednesday’s numbers were an abysmal 1.3 million for Kilmeade and 1.7 million for Hannity.
Tucker typically attracted over 3 million viewers per show, and Hannity would usually draw almost 3 million viewers. Therefore, this decline in viewership is quite substantial.
In fact, the situation has become so dire, that even lowly Chris Hayes of MSNBC managed to outperform Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday night, which is a significant blow to Fox.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes won the 8 p.m. hour on cable news Wednesday night. Hayes’s win comes on the heels of Monday’s firing of Tucker Carlson — who long reigned during the hour.
Hayes beat Carlson’s temporary replacement, Brian Kilmeade, with 1.38 million total viewers to 1.33 million viewers.
Thanks to Rupert Murdoch’s bonehead decision to fire Tucker, Fox News is now finishing behind CNN and MSNBC in the coveted 25-54 demo.
Kilmeade’s two recent programs have struggled to retain all of Carlson’s audience in prime time. Where Carlson averaged 3.25 million total viewers and 443,000 viewers in the key 25-54 age demographic last quarter, Kilmeade’s Wednesday night show brought in only 1.7 million viewers and 149,000 demo viewers – which landed the network behind both CNN and MSNBC in the demo.
Overall, Fox News won prime time in total viewers beating MSNBC with 1.49 million to 1.34 million total viewers. However, MSNBC won in the prime time demo, for the second time this week, with 153,000 viewers to Fox’s 146,000.
Notably, the hours before and after Carlson’s old show on Fox News were also significantly down in viewership.
The real test for the conservative resistance will come when Fox announces Tucker’s permanent replacement.
It’s easy to tune-out of a Brian Kilmeade show, but will conservatives keep boycotting even when Fox places a bigger name in that slot? Time will tell.