“Fox is going to take a hit tonight and this week and short term for sure. Its audience is very, very angry,” Kelly said Monday on “Dan Abrams Live.” “I will say, the names you just mentioned, those departures prove there’s a huge audience out there that’s loyal to Fox, likes the Fox News graphics, the Fox News reporters — that’s what they’re banking on.”
Carlson served as one of Fox’s most popular personalities. In a statement, the network said they “agreed to part ways” with Carlson.
Kelly believes Carlson’s viewers will remain loyal to him and support him in his next venture.
“They’ll go with Tucker, for sure,” she said.
Kelly sees Carlson thriving in his own, independent lane of commentary.
“Tucker is going to have more success, more money and more influence in an independent lane. I mean look at Joe Rogan. His audience dwarfs anything that’s on cable news right now and Tucker could rival him,” Kelly said. “So I think he’ll make more money in the independent lane and it’ll all go in his pocket as opposed to in Rupert (Murdoch’s).”
The announcement of Carlson leaving Fox News comes less than a week after the network settled a $787.5 million defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems stemming from their 2020 election coverage.
While some have speculated that litigation may have played a part in Carlson’s exit, Kelly thinks it may boil down to his show not bringing in enough ad dollars.
“Though Tucker was No. 1 and an incredible talent who really made Fox News relevant in a way it wouldn’t have been over the past few years, he struggled to bring in top ad dollars in that hour,” Kelly said. “Back in 2016-15 around there, we were making over $100 million a year in advertising fees on my hour alone and that was good. We were getting American Express, Mercedes Benz, those type of brands.”
She continued: “One problem Tucker has had, since he’s been so demonized by the left is he doesn’t have the top flight advertisers in that particular hour because he’s so controversial. So, Fox actually doesn’t make that much money off of Tucker’s hour.”
Carlson replaced Bill O’Reilly in Fox’s prime-time lineup with the show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” after O’Reilly was forced out in 2017. Carlson’s last show aired Friday.
“Fox News Tonight” will air as an interim show helmed by rotating Fox personalities until a new host is announced.