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A report on Saturday revealed that the situation at Fox News, which sat atop cable news ratings for years, is getting worse as fallout from the decision to take top-rated talent Tucker Carlson off the air last month.
According to Rolling Stone magazine, Fox laid off its entire investigative unit on Friday, a decision linked to the network’s massive $787.5 million defamation lawsuit settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, also last month.
“The rank and file journalists are getting let go. Meanwhile, upper management are sitting pretty while they are the execs responsible for the Dominion debacle. We are the sacrificial lambs,” the magazine quoted a Fox News source as saying.
A second source told Rolling Stone: “Yes, [layoffs] have happened and continue to happen.”
“I think producers, management, et cetera [are being laid-off],” a former Fox News staffer was also quoted as saying. “They are trying to get money off the books before June 30. They have to save money because of the [Dominion] lawsuit.”
But according to a report from the New York Daily News, the investigative unit was not eliminated but merely reorganized.
“There were three employees in the seven-person unit impacted, while four employees were offered different positions within the company,” a Fox News source told the Daily News, which noted further: “Employees on the team had already been working in other areas of the company, and had not been on major investigative programming initiatives in a long time, they added.”
Fox News also faces a similar $2.5 billion defamation suit filed by Smartmatic, another voting software company. That suit will go to a courtroom in 2025 unless Fox decides to settle out of court in a similar manner as with the Dominion suit.
Fox’s ratings have gone into freefall since Carlson was taken off the air by the network.
Earlier this month, former Fox News star Megyn Kelly mocked her onetime employer due to the significant decline in viewership with a new nickname during a broadcast of her successful SiriusXM podcast.
Kelly has been criticizing Fox News for the decline in ratings the network experienced after removing Carlson. In its first week without the former prime-time ratings king, Fox News Channel’s primetime viewership dropped by 29.6 percent compared to the previous week, as reported by Slay News.
For years, Fox News has been the leader in cable news, but since Carlson’s show was taken off the air — for reasons still unknown — the network has slid badly in the ratings, losing out for the first time in years to left-wing outlet MSNBC.
In a tweet acknowledging the ratings decline, Kelly wrote, “My audience is calling them Foxweiser” — a reference to the significant decline in sales of Bud Light following its recent disastrous collaboration with trans activist and biological male Dylan Mulvaney, who identifies as a woman.
My audience is calling them #Foxweiser. https://t.co/39K4AwE7JY
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) May 5, 2023
Also on Friday’s podcast, Kelly shared more alarming news regarding Fox’s decline in ratings, claiming that the network was only “left with about a third of their audience.”
“I mean, that’s stunning,” she said.
Prime time programming, which is the network’s main source of revenue, has been decimated by the ratings decline. Hannity, the 9 p.m. show that follows Tucker Carlson, is down “almost 40%, down 39%, in the 10 p.m… down 24% in the demo, down almost 20% in the total, and I could go on,” Kelly added.
She also said that prime-time programming is “all anyone gives a sh*t about over there at Fox News. The prime time pays the bills, period. They’re all down.”
After Carlson’s firing, the channel’s cable news supremacy vanished as “Fox News Tonight” — the program that replaced Carlson’s time slot — witnessed a sudden decline of almost one million viewers.
“Bloodbath,” Kelly said earlier. “Not even Bud Lite (which is currently giving away its beer in an effort to get ppl to pls pls drink it) lost this much of its customer base.”