Apparently, the same principles that can help govern a healthy marriage are the same principles that can help govern running a multi-billion dollar cable news network.
A marriage can actually benefit from a number of small mistakes, as both learning opportunities and (for the particularly small mistakes) as saucy anecdotes or mirthful memories. A news network can benefit from a number of small mistakes, similarly as learning opportunities, but also as catalysts for innovation or moments of virality.
Both marriage and running a news network, however, can seldom afford very many big mistakes.
And just like the kind of divorce that too many big mistakes in a marriage can lead to, the divorce between Tucker Carlson and Fox News appears to be a cataclysmic mistake — but not for Carlson.
It’s well-worn territory at this point that Fox News’ unceremonious and still-unexplained ouster of Carlson in late April was bad for the news titan.
Angry fans left in droves as calls to boycott the network intensified. Even fans who were on the fence about the whole thing soured on Fox’s lack of transparency.
So it’s clear that when Carlson departed, he took droves of viewers with him.
But where did they go exactly, given that Carlson’s new Twitter show hasn’t begun in earnest yet?
According to a new Mediaite report, the answer should send chills down the spine of Fox News executives.
That report notes that in the four weeks leading up to Carlson’s unexpected firing, Fox News’ “prime time” block of 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. averaged 2.6 million total viewers.
The four weeks after Carlson’s disappearance? 1.6 million total viewers, a stark nine-figure drop.
Fox News assuredly banked on many of those same viewers to gravitate towards other, more fledgling conservative news networks. That way, it would be easy to pull those fans back from within the same ecosphere when they figure out however it is that they plan to sell their new Carlson-less prime time block.
To be sure, the report notes that Newsmax, perhaps Fox’s closest competitor in terms of conservative-leaning media, has benefited some since Carlson left Fox.
Mediaite then cites some research from The Washington Post, which found that Newsmax’s prime-time ratings have increased 135 percent since Carlson left.
While an impressive figure, Newsmax is still far behind Fox News in terms of ratings. Fox News’ diminished 1.6 million viewers is still degrees above Newsmax’s boosted 383,000 viewers.
While there undoubtedly are Carlson supporters who have ditched Fox for Newsmax, those above numbers indicate that many more Carlson supporters simply stopped consuming broadcast news altogether when he left the airwaves.
And that means Fox News’ already colossal blunder might be an even bigger mistake than previously thought.
Because the numbers don’t lie here; Carlson is a force when it comes to conservative media.
Fox News was banking on Carlson simply being a popular vessel through which they could bring you (their preapproved) content that you so crave.
Instead, the numbers are saying that Carlson was the content that conservatives craved.
And to be clear, both marriages and news networks can survive a few big mistakes.
As for cataclysmic blunders?
That’s to be determined, but it’s not looking good for Fox News.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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