Sarah May
August 27, 2023

Revamped primetime lineup paying dividends for Fox News

Former President Donald Trump's relationship with Fox News has undoubtedly frayed in recent years, and the recent primetime ratings successes reported by the network are sure to leave the current 2024 Republican frontrunner feeling at least a little bit frustrated.

The cable news giant lost considerable viewership in the aftermath of its abrupt and unpopular decision to take host Tucker Carlson off the air, but according to new numbers, its all-new evening lineup is making great strides in reversing the damage.

Primetime success story

After just one month since its launch, Fox News' reshuffling of popular personalities Greg Gutfeld, Laura Ingraham, Jesse Watters, and Sean Hannity has notched noteworthy audience gains.

With Ingraham taking the airwaves at 7 p.m., Watters following in Carlson's old time slot at 8 p.m., Hannity staying put at 9 p.m., and Gutfeld taking over at 10 p.m., Fox News executives are now basking in a series of impressive results.

In the period of July 17 through August 21, the network's viewership has increased 23% among all potential watchers, and 31% within the key 25-54 age demographic on a month-over-month basis.

Crushing the competition

Putting those figures in context, Fox News holds 44% of the entire primetime viewer share, and the primetime roster maintains a 200% advantage when compared to cable news competitor CNN in terms of total viewer share.

Fox News surpasses MSNBC by 28% when it comes to total viewer share and by 21% in the aforementioned, highly coveted age bracket.

Amid last week's heavy coverage of Trump's Fulton County, Georgia indictment, Fox News pulled 1.1 million day viewers in total, with CNN capturing just 551,000, and during the primetime hours, Fox News won the attention of 1.6 million viewers on average as compared to CNN's average of 770,000.

Trump's lament

The former president, for his part, appeared determined to undermine the network's marquee coverage of the first Republican presidential primary debate – an event he did not attend – by sitting down with Carlson for a wide-ranging interview released on X (formerly known as Twitter) just as the candidates took the stage.

During their chat, the former Fox News host asked Trump whether he believes that television in general is in an era of decline.

Though Trump took aim at MSNBC and CNN in turns, he also leveled criticism at Fox News contending, “Fox is way down, as you know, and the good old days are long ago” and telling Carlson, “I think it was a terrible move getting rid of you. You were number one on television, and all of a sudden, we're doing this interview, but we'll get bigger ratings using this crazy forum that you're using than probably the debate, our competition.”

While Trump's chat with Carlson did not disappoint in terms of scoring millions of views, Fox News' debate coverage came in at 12.8 million total viewers, conferring on the broadcast the title of the most-watched non-sports production of the year to date.

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