Fox News fans protested the firing of the network's top host with their remotes, according to Monday night's ratings data.
Hundreds of thousands of regular 8 p.m. viewers apparently took no interest in tuning in to Fox News Tonight, the temporary filler for the abruptly cancelled Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Meanwhile, Tucker Carlon broke his silence to the Daily Mail Tuesday night, saying, "Retirement is going great so far."
The host was spotted joyfully riding to dinner with his wife in a golf cart. The pundit is apparently feeling liberated, telling the Daily Mail outside his Florida home, "I haven’t eaten dinner with my wife on a weeknight in seven years."
His next move? "Appetizers plus entree."
— Big Fish (@BigFish3000) April 26, 2023
Carlson did not weigh in on his shocking departure from Fox the day prior. The host was reportedly given just 10 minutes' warning before the hammer fell.
It was a heartbreaking blow to Carlson's millions of devoted fans and led to immediate speculation about his own future and the impact of his absence on Fox's bottom line.
The host was a ratings hit, but his provocative commentary on subjects like January 6th and the so-called Great Replacement "conspiracy" brought advertiser boycotts and even pressure from lawmakers for his show to be censored.
Some industry observers anticipate that Fox will eventually right the ship, but Carlson's popularity can't be understated. The network struggled on its first night without him, with Fox News Tonight drawing 2.6 million viewers, a sizeable decrease from Carlson's regular ratings of over 3 million.
Fox News Tonight also fell in the key 25-to-54 demographic, dropping 37 percent to .24 percent of the demo. Carlson ended his run averaging .38 percent.
Host Brian Kilmeade briefly addressed the apparent firing of his former colleague, whom he called a "friend."
Fox's rival Newsmax surged on Monday, with Eric Bolling and Greg Kelly drawing over 500,000 viewers, more than three times their averages for the first quarter.
It's still unclear what led to Carlson's departure, but a Wall Street Journal report said Carlson had been on thin ice for some time with Fox executives, who had begun to fear he couldn't be controlled.
Fox has lost over $800 million in market value since Monday, a stunning testament to his value to the corporation.