Former Fox News star Megyn Kelly
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson
Fox News apparently isn’t missing Megyn Kelly as much as everyone thought it would.
Now that the former Fox star has left the network for NBC News, Tucker Carlson has taken over her prime-time slot – and the network is enjoying a stunning double-digit surge in viewership.
Carlson’s show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” in its debut prime-time week, averaged 3 million viewers, including 576,000 in the 25-54 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The viewership boost is a 10 percent increase over the 2016 average for Kelly’s former show, “The Kelly File,” and a 12 percent increase in the 25-54 demographic. Compared to last year at this time, Carlson’s show is up 21 percent in total viewers and 52 percent in the 25-54 demographic.
Carlson is the former editor in chief of the Daily Caller and host of “Fox & Friends Weekend.” He took over the slot after Kelly announced she would leave Fox on Jan. 3.
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Kelly was reportedly offered more than $20 million to stay at Fox News by its parent company, 21st Century Fox. The star prime-time anchor achieved national fame and faced the ire of conservative viewers of Fox News for her coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign.
She tangled with Donald Trump during the first GOP primary debate in August 2015 after she questioned him about his past treatment of women. Trump criticized her on stage and later said in an interview that Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever” during the debate.
Trump skipped a Fox News debate over his continued feud with the network and Kelly, but sat down with Kelly for a one-on-one interview later in the campaign.
As WND reported just last week, Kelly’s Nov. 15 appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” reportedly caused that network’s ratings to plunge drastically.
While she was still employed by Fox and plugging her book, “Settle For More,” Kelly was interviewed by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos during the November segment on “GMA.”
According to Mediaite, “The minute-by-minute ratings for GMA took a major (and surprising) dive during her segment … .”
Rachel Stockman of Mediaite noted: “According to sources with access to those all important and specific network ratings, Kelly appeared for approximately 10 minutes at around 7:31 a.m., during that time, the ratings continued to plummet in particular compared to other days.
“Network execs across the board apparently expected that the Fox News host’s interview would boost the bottom of the 7 o’clock hour especially since she was discussing controversial allegations against her former boss, Roger Ailes. But – that didn’t happen.”
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On Tuesday, Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera took a parting shot at Kelly on Carlson’s show. Rivera said Kelly rarely invited him to be on her show.
Carlson asked Rivera if “famous people” like Rivera and Trump ever spent time hanging out together.
“I don’t know if that’s true,” Rivera responded. “But I will tell you this; Donald Trump put me on television a lot more than Megyn Kelly ever did.”
Carlson chuckled but refused to make any comment concerning Kelly.
“I’m not getting involved in that! I’m everyone’s friend here,” he said.
Carlson’s show has been a ratings dream for Fox since it debuted in the 7 p.m. slot in mid-November. A full 3.7 million viewers watched his first episode – more than the viewership of CNN and MSNBC put together – making it Fox’s most watch show of 2016 in that time slot.
In the following memorable episode, Carlson recently exposed a fake Trump protester who claimed he is paying people to disrupt the inauguration: