Megyn Kelly who? Tucker Carlson, host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” is Fox News Channel’s new ratings king, and he has Donald Trump to thank for it. Many were surprised when “fresh” face Carlson was hand-picked by Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of the network, to take over the 9 p.m. ET time slot. However, Murdoch made the right move, Carlson’s first two weeks on the gig have advertisers and the network salivating. Data from Nielsen Media Research showed “Tucker Carlson Tonight” is up 95 percent in the coveted 25- to 54-year-old demographic compared to “The Kelly File” during the same period in 2016.
From January 16 to January 22 Carlson had an average of 775,000 viewers per night in the category. Turn back time to exactly one year ago; “The Kelly File” was attracting an average of 398,000 eyeballs.
To be fair to Kelly, her replacement is getting a boost like no other – the scandal-plagued inauguration of Donald Trump. The new president’s supporters only watch Fox News Channel for information on their idol, which is why it is not all surprising that this week, the network had its highest ratings since the 2016 election.
According to Nielsen, Fox topped all Inauguration Day coverage ratings, averaging 8.8 million viewers through the day. During the swear-in ceremony, it climbed to 11 million viewers making it the highest-rated inauguration coverage since Fox was launched.
Last year, around the same time, Kelly was the leading lady of “The Kelly File,” and she was offered a $100 million contract over four years to stay, but she declined because she wants to spend more quality time with her family.
Now that she has moved on to NBC, many are wondering will she be able to captivate her audience with a daytime show. Some TV experts say it is a big gamble for Kelly who might fail like Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, and Meredith Vieira.