Tucker Carlson, the host of Fox News Channel, has led his network to another week as one of the most-watched cable news networks, making it 65 weeks in a row. With an average audience of 461,000 people for the whole week ending May 15th, Tucker Carlson Tonight won primetime television ratings amongst viewers 25-54, the key demo most coveted by advertisers.
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With a total average viewership of 2.224 million in primetime, Fox News outperformed competitor networks MSNBC and CNN. CNN had its lowest-rated prime-time week ever, both in terms of overall viewers and the key demo, with none of the network’s programming attracting an engagement of more than one million watchers, which has long been considered a barometer of prime-time success. Fox News had a significant lead over CNN, with 268 percent of CNN’s peak time viewership for the week.
In total, Fox had 98 of the top 100 most-watched telecasts of the week, with FNC’s The Five once again capturing the title of highest-rated cable news show despite airing outside of peak time, when viewing is typically strongest, per report.
Tucker Carlson Tonight, Jesse Watters Primetime (2.464 million viewers) Hannity (2.654 million viewers), & Special Report with Bret Baier (2.375 million viewers) all had an average total audience of 3.237 million viewers.
To make it better, Sean Hannity recently broke a record previously held by Larry King. Fox News issued a press release on Sean Hannity breaking that major milestone record , saying:
Hannity Breaks Record Previously Held by the Late Legend Larry King
NEW YORK – April 21, 2022 — FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Sean Hannity has notched yet another industry milestone, becoming the longest-running primetime cable news host in television history. Today marks 25 consecutive years, six months, and 15 days at the helm of a primetime cable news program, breaking the previous longstanding record* held by the late talk show host Larry King. As cable news’ most enduring personality, Hannity has been a staple of FNC’s primetime lineup since the launch of the network in 1996, where his candid style and passionate commentary have made him one of the most prominent and influential voices in the country.
In commenting on the milestone, FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said, “Sean’s authenticity and insightful commentary have created one of the most enduring connections with our audience and it’s been an honor to watch him over the years. A FOX News original, he has helped innovate the industry, and we are incredibly proud of his extraordinary success.”
Hannity added, “I am extremely grateful to FOX News Media and to our loyal, dedicated viewers whom I am proud to serve every night.”
For more than two decades, Hannity has been known for his provocative style and unique connection with his audience. Each night, his primetime program features a signature monologue where Hannity breaks down trending topics of the day, which has now become a staple of evening programming for many. Throughout his tenure with the network, he has secured interviews with numerous key newsmakers and political figures, including: former President Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then-President George W. Bush, then-Vice President Dick Cheney, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Zimmerman, former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Reverend Jesse Jackson, as well as Sylvester Stallone, Roseanne Barr, Kim Kardashian, Mel Gibson, Michael Moore, Michael Phelps, Richard Petty, Charlie Daniels, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, and most recently award-winning actor and director Sean Penn. In the spring of 2021, Hannity secured the first national television interview with former Olympian and reality television star Caitlyn Jenner since announcing her candidacy for Governor of California and recently conducted Jenner’s debut interview as a FOX News Media contributor.
Hannity’s ratings success has spanned each of his primetime timeslots over the last 25 years. His eponymous program has dominated the cable news landscape, ranking number one in its time slot with both viewers and in the 25-54 demographic for 13 consecutive years since launching as a solo hour in January 2009, according to Nielsen Media Research. His debut program, Hannity & Colmes with the late Alan Colmes, became a ratings hit and overtook Larry King after just five years of its existence, ranking as top-rated program in its timeslot beginning in 2002 in the key demo and in 2003 with viewers. From 2017 to 2019, Hannity reigned as the most-watched program in all of cable news in the coveted Adults 25-54 demo and marked four consecutive years as the most-watched show in total viewers (2017-2020). Most recently, Hannity ended 2021 as the top-rated program airing at 9 PM/ET, besting the competition on CNN and MSNBC by double digits in both categories. Currently averaging more than 3.1 million viewers each night, the program routinely ranks in the top five programs in cable news.
Renowned for his conservative commentary, Hannity spends over four hours daily connecting with his audience on both television and radio and has become one of the most popular radio personalities in the country. As host of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Sean Hannity Show, syndicated to 675 stations with 20 million listeners, he has been named Talkers Magazine’s “Talk Show Host of the Year” and has consistently ranked as No. 1 in Talkers Magazine‘s Top 100 Talk Hosts in America. Throughout his storied career, he has received two NAB Marconi Radio Awards for Network Syndicated Personality of the Year and is a three-time consecutive winner of the Radio & Records National Talk Show Host of the Year Award. He is also the author of four New York Times bestsellers, “Live Free or Die,” “Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism,” “Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism” and “Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama’s Radical Agenda.”
FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service and has been the number one network in basic cable for the last six years and the most-watched television news channel for more than 20 consecutive years, currently attracting more than 50% of the cable news viewing audience according to Nielsen Media Research. Notably, Nielsen/MRI Fusion has consistently shown FNC to be the network of choice for more Democrat and Independent viewers, with the most politically diverse audience in cable news. Additionally, a 2021 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index report stated FOX News leads the news industry in both brand loyalty, engagement, and expectations while a 2022 Brand Keys poll showed FNC dominating morning and evening news in customer loyalty engagement. Owned by Fox Corporation, FNC is available in nearly 80 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape, routinely notching the top 15 programs in the genre.
Whether Fox will be able to maintain this dominating position, however, is unclear.
On one hand, hosts on its shows like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity still continue to do well, even if the MAGA base is losing faith in Hannity.
On the other hand, however, though Fox is the more conservative of the corporate press networks, it’s far from right-wing and reluctant to speak out about certain controversial issues, something that has led Trump and people like him, such as Mo Brooks, to get into spats with the network.
So, while Fox is dominating losers like Brian Stelter and Joy Reid as MSNBC gets even woker and CNN flounders, that position could be in some danger in the future due to how the MAGA base views it.