Fox News’ Jesse Waters’ first primetime show fell short of the traditional audience pulled by fired host Tucker Carlson in the 8 p.m. timeslot.
Waters, 45, Fox’s choice to replace the firebrand Carlson in the pivotal slot, had 800,000 fewer viewers than her predecessor.
Jesse Waters Primetime, which aired for the first time Monday evening, drew 2.4 million viewers compared to Carlson’s usual 3.2 million.
Waters, who already hosts the popular weekday show The Five, used his first night in the White House to discuss Hunter Biden, the crackdown on cocaine, and transgender rights.
It was Waters’ first 8pm show since Carlson, 54, was fired by the network in April, days after Fox settled a legal battle with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million over defamation claims related to the 2020 presidential election.
According to ratings data compiled by Nielsen, Waters’ overall figures, despite Carlson’s loyalties, did not easily outpace her rivals at CNN and MSNBC.
MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes had 1.222 million viewers Monday and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 had 668,222 viewers.
Waters’ debut in the 8pm slot also saw a 37 per cent increase in ratings from the week after sacking Carlson and using a series of temporary hosts.
The 8pm slot is traditionally the most sought after in cable news and has been a headache for Fox News since Carlson’s departure.
Despite having a contract with Fox until 2025, the former star launched a new version of his show on Twitter.
Announcing his new show in a three-minute video posted on his own Twitter page in May and captioned ‘We’re back’, the controversial cable star slammed the mainstream media and said anyone trying to tell the truth would be dealt with.
Before the announcement, Carlson’s powerful attorneys sent an aggressive letter to Fox arguing that the $25 million non-compete clause in his contract, which would have allowed him to launch a competing show or media entity, was no longer valid.
In the video, Carlson, 53, told his followers: ‘Starting soon we’ll be bringing a new version of the show we’ve been doing for the last six and a half years on Twitter.’
Jesse Waters Primetime, which aired for the first time yesterday evening, drew 2.4 million viewers compared to Carlson’s usual 3.2 million.
The former star recently announced that she is launching a new version of her show on Twitter
‘We have come up with some other things, which we will tell you. But for now we are grateful to be here. Freedom of speech is your main right. You have none but this.’
‘All you can hope for in the news business at the moment is the freedom to tell the absolute truth, but there are always limitations,’ Carlson told his fans.
‘If you flout this limit too often, you will be fired for it. It’s not a guess, it’s a certainty.’
It has also been reported that Carlson is looking to launch his own media company.
Carlson is planning the venture with Neil Patel, a former policy adviser to Dick Cheney, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
The pair, who met as roommates at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, want to adopt the longer version of the free videos the social media platform offers.
Carlson’s team met with Twitter representatives in recent weeks to discuss their plans, the Journal reported.
Conservative commentators, including other former Fox News hosts Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly, have increasingly sought consumer-funded long-form video as a profitable business opportunity.
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