OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Megyn Kelly ‘broke’ some news regarding Tucker Carlson’s departure on Monday from Fox News, saying that the top-rated former host can’t really go anywhere else at the moment. Kelly, a former Fox News star herself, says that Carlson remains under contract with Fox.
“I wanna, I think, break some news for you. Tucker Carlson hasn’t actually been fired,” she said during her Thursday podcast on SiriusXM. “He’s still an employee of Fox News Channel.”
Kelly went on to explain that Carlson was contacted by CEO Suzanne Scott and told that he would not be allowed to do any more shows and that he was denied access to the company email. She also said that now, the two would have to “negotiate an exit” from the network.
She went on to claim that the call from Scott caught “Tucker completely off guard” but that he’s “not fired.”
“That’s my information, that he still needs to negotiate the exit and that right now he’s not free to launch a podcast or a digital show or negotiate with other employers at all because he’s still under contract,” Kelly continued.
She also said Carlson repeatedly attempted to find out why he was being taken off the air and was rebuffed by Scott. The firing came as Carlson had been negotiating a new contract that would have reportedly kept him at the network through 2029, according to an Independent report.
“To me, that is so disheartening,” Kelly went on, explaining that Carlson managed to succeed and help then network succeed through one of its most turbulent periods — the dismissal of long-time CEO Roger Ailes and the loss of two of the network’s top stars at the time, Bill O’Reilly and herself.
“So, why now? What was it that led them to treat their No. 1 star with such disdain?” Kelly mused.
Former Top Fox News host and insider Megyn Kelly reveals Tucker not actually FIRED from Fox yet— This is what’s REALLY happening…
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) April 27, 2023
Carlson himself has surmised that he was let go because the Murdoch family is preparing to sell the network. Others have different thoughts.
During an interview with Chris Cuomo of News Nation this week, O’Reilly argued that he believes Carlson was fired because the network is facing a slew of lawsuits related to the 2020 election.
Fox News just settled a lawsuit with Dominion and agreed to pay out a whopping $787 million. The network also has an ongoing lawsuit filed by former Fox News booker Abby Grossberg.
“Because the pending litigation was harpooned this morning. Carlson didn’t know. It just happened. And that’s the nature of television news, the most wicked industry in the United States of America,” O’Reilly said.
“Tucker Carlson took over from me. For the first three years, his ratings were soft. He lost about a million, maybe a little bit more of my audience, and then in 2020, he took a hard right turn,” O’Reilly said. “Carlson basically programmed for a very hard right audience, and his numbers came up.”
Bill O’Reilly tells Chris Cuomo why he thinks Tucker Carlson was fired:
“That’s the nature of television news — the most wicked industry in the United States of America.”pic.twitter.com/6BYflhoDUa
— Patriot Alerts (@alerts___) April 26, 2023
Regardless of the reason, Fox News has definitely taken a hit in ratings, which Kelly described as a “bloodbath.”
Former CNN media analyst Brian Stelter posted some numbers on Twitter Thursday that show a precipitous drop in viewership for Carlson’s former time slot, 8 p.m. EDT. He claims that viewership numbers dropped from 2.65 million on Friday – Carlson’s final show – to 2.59 million on Monday, 1.70 million on Tuesday, and 1.33 million on Wednesday.
Fox News viewership at 8pm ET:
Tucker’s finale: 2.65 million
Monday: 2.59 million
Tuesday: 1.70 million
Wednesday: 1.33 million
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 27, 2023
But Kelly pointed out that Friday night prime-time numbers are not representative because typically they are among the lowest of the week, probably because it’s the end of the work week and viewers are doing something other than watching cable news.
“You can’t compare Tucker’s Fri night ratings to this week’s Mon/Tue. (Fridays in prime are where ratings go to die.) Compare his last Mon/Tue to this week’s Mon/Tue,” she tweeted. “It’s a bloodbath: they lost HALF their audience.”
You can’t compare Tucker’s Fri night ratings to this week’s Mon/Tue. (Fridays in prime are where ratings go to die.) Compare his last Mon/Tue to this week’s Mon/Tue. It’s a bloodbath: they lost HALF their audience. https://t.co/bH1g6epeC0
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) April 27, 2023
“Carlson received 3.174 million total viewers, with 445,000 in the 25-54 demo, during his Monday, April 17 show. On Tuesday, April 18, Tucker Carlson Tonight received 3.223 million total viewers and 481,000 in the demo – nearly twice as many viewers as Fox News’ April 25, 8pm replacement show hosted by Brian Kilmeade,” Mediaite reported.