For the past week the biggest story in media has been the firing of Tucker Carlson by Fox News. While that was indeed a newsworthy event, there are collateral consequences that are being ignored that will eventually have an even more profound impact on both politics and media.
Carlson fans are actually celebrating his expulsion from Fox News and insisting that it will only make him more influential and powerful as an advocate for the neo-fascist agenda for which he has been the mainstream media’s most prominent spokesman. They foolishly believe that the number of times his post-termination video was viewed on Twitter is proof that he, as an individual, has greater clout than Rupert Murdoch’s multibillion dollar media conglomerate. But they might want to check with Murdoch before popping those champagne corks.
In the real world, Carlson can look forward to precisely the same political celebrity status that Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck have achieved since they were fired by Fox News (i.e. pathetic has-beens). There is a long trail of road kill lining the highway of sacked media stars.
However, the future doesn’t look any better for Fox News. They will surely survive the loss of a loser like Carlson, just as they did O’Reilly and Beck. In fact, they will probably find a replacement who surpasses Carlson’s capacity for crackpot conservatism. But that doesn’t mean that Fox News will have a clear path ahead.
In addition to the Carlson conundrum, Fox News also was just forced to pay 3/4 of a billion dollars to settle a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems. Another voting technology company, Smartmatic, is next in line with a similar lawsuit. That case is already shaping up as a major problem for Fox News.
What’s more, all of these ill winds for Fox are blowing while they are in negotiations to renew their cable carriage contracts. They presently receive one of the highest carriage fees in the business. But are cable companies going to be anxious to continue paying a premium for a network that is firing their top rated hosts, being sued for defamation, getting exposed as liars, and having to spend their money on court settlements rather than programming.
Furthermore, Fox’s ratings have suffered steep declines since Carlson’s banishment. his former timeslot has lost 50% of its audience in just four days. It’s getting beat by MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes.” And the abutting programs are also losing viewers.
Tucker Carlson's former timeslot has lost 50% of its audience in the four days since Fox News fired him. It's getting beat by MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes.'https://t.co/pvenRR5NU4 pic.twitter.com/g9I6O31my0
— News Corpse (@NewsCorpse) April 28, 2023
Advertisers have already checked out. Most major advertisers refused to be associated with the repulsive content that Carlson spewed. Hate speech, bigotry, and pro-Putin, anti-American totalitarianism doesn’t sell Campbell’s Soup or Ford Trucks. Carlson’s show was being almost solely supported by Mike Lindell’s MyPillow ads. And even that has been a rocky relationship.
Fox News has tried to pretend that this advertiser exodus hasn’t affected their bottom line. They claim that advertisers who didn’t want their ads on Carlson’s show were moved to other shows. But there is no way that an advertiser is going to pay the same rate for some other, lower rated program, as they would have for Carlson. So Fox was obviously lying about not losing any revenue. And that was recently affirmed by none other than Rupert Murdoch’s own Wall Street Journal (as reported by Media Matters).
The confluence of lawsuit payouts. lost revenue, fired hosts, and cable carriage fee downgrades, is going to make the next few months particularly difficult for Fox News. Add to that the animosity of their former fans who are vowing to boycott the network because they believe it has now joined the radical, leftist, Soros-backed, commie, deep state, cabal that is beholden to fake President Biden, and what you have is a convergence of catastrophe. Can Fox News weather this storm? Stay tuned.
Kayleigh McEnany took over Tucker Carlson’s old Fox News timeslot on Monday. The former lying Trump press secretary drew only 1.5 million viewers.
Jesse Watters (2.2 million) and Sean Hannity (1.9 million) were both down significantly.https://t.co/L9Kj7SvPy0
— News Corpse (@NewsCorpse) May 10, 2023
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