News & Politics

Tucker Carlson's Debut Propels Fox News to Huge Ratings Boost

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Remember all those breathless stories last summer from various corners of the mainstream media about the imminent decline and demise of the Fox News Channel?

It appears that they may have been just a bit premature.

According to figures from Nielsen Media Research, Fox averaged 3,283,000 primetime, viewers in November — a 71 percent jump from November 2015 — making it the highest-rated primetime month since 2012.

Fox’s numbers more than doubled the combined totals from CNN and MSNBC — 1,529,000 and 1,335,000 respectively — over the same timeframe.

Regarding that last bit, bear in mind the CNN is doing relatively well right now. Some might even say it’s doing very well, but it is still getting crushed by Fox News.

The doomsayers were reading too much into the Trump/Not Trump disagreements between the various on-air personalities at FNC. It was all doing nothing more than keeping Fox News in the news. CNN started to carve out a little niche for itself while all that was going on, and MSNBC was left in the corner saying, “Hey! We’re over here!”

Even the much ballyhooed “feud” between Trump and Megyn Kelly didn’t hurt anything. As I said and wrote repeatedly after it first erupted, it all seems like ratings kabuki theater to me. They then broke up and got back together more than a couple of high school kids.

Ratings gold.

The “end is nigh” proclamations after the departure of Roger Ailes overlooked one critical component: that Rupert Murdoch still owned the company and he’s had a few media successes without the help of Ailes.

Carslon’s show has been a surprise to me. I’ll admit that I wasn’t a big fan of his when he was a contributor at the network. I didn’t dislike him, I just didn’t think he added anything. Obviously, I didn’t see much of “Fox and Friends” because it’s on at an ungodly hour. It seems that he was just waiting for a solo hosting shot to really let go. He doesn’t dance around with liberal guests — he gets right to rejecting false premises and tearing them apart.

FNC doesn’t mess with it’s evening lineup much. When it does it’s very deliberate and almost always a hit.