January 18, 2022

Is Greg Gutfeld Changing into the New King of Fox Information?

5 min read

Is the previous editor of Stuff journal who used to host a 3 a.m. speak present now poised to grow to be a high canine at Fox Information? If current viewership numbers are any indication, which will simply be the case.

Greg Gutfeld, the 57-year-old self-described “libertarian” known for his right-wing humor and increasingly hostile politics, at the moment hosts two of the most-watched reveals on cable information.

Within the course of, Gutfeld has performed a key function in relegating Sean Hannity—whose identify was as soon as synonymous with Fox Information—to third-place standing on the community. And he’s seemingly on the verge of overtaking Tucker Carlson because the king of Fox Information scores, despite the fact that each of his packages sit exterior of the extremely considered weeknight primetime hours.

Between the current scores victories of The 5 and the excessive viewership numbers of Gutfeld’s eponymous late-night speak present, the previous Crimson Eye host is a Fox Information juggernaut.

Since this previous summer season, The 5—the late-afternoon speak present Gutfeld has co-hosted for the reason that program’s debut in 2011—has overtaken Hannity’s eponymous 9 p.m. because the second-most-watched present in all of cable information. On the similar time, the present has nipped at Tucker Carlson Tonight’s heels, at one level surpassing the primetime star in October as cable’s most-viewed program. (Actually, for each the month of December and the ultimate quarter of the yr, The 5 really positioned first in complete viewership, topping Carlson by a slim 6,000 viewers within the remaining quarter of 2021.)

Throughout former President Donald Trump’s chaotic tenure, his close personal friend and shadow chief of staff Hannity rose to the highest of the cable information heap. This wasn’t simply due to the Fox star’s sycophantic devotion to Trump or his willingness to parrot GOP speaking factors, nonetheless: In April 2017, Fox fired the reigning king of cable information, Invoice O’Reilly, following a slew of sexual harassment settlements. Hannity simply slid into his former rival’s place atop the Fox Information meals chain.

Over the subsequent few years, Hannity was the most-viewed present in all of cable information. However that began to alter in 2020 when Carlson, who changed O’Reilly in Fox’s 8 p.m. slot, finally snuck up on Hannity and overtook him and broke his report for common viewership in a fiscal quarter.

Although Hannity completed the yr because the most-watched present, simply barely edging out Carlson, the writing was already on the wall. Heading into the 2020 election, Carlson—whose program was all the time far much less Trump-centric than Hannity’s and different MAGA loyalists—set extra cable information information, at one level drawing an eye-popping 5.36 million average viewers for a single month, main the community to its highest primetime numbers ever.

Whereas that seismic shift came about atop Fox Information, Gutfeld quietly amassed the clout and viewership to be thought-about among the many higher echelon of the community.

Over the previous few years, he has reworked from irreverent satirist to acerbic ideologue, spending a lot of the Trump years actively boosting and rooting for the then-president whereas basking in the TV-addicted president’s adulation.

However very similar to Carlson, Gutfeld’s MAGA adjacency by no means grew to become his overarching id. In a post-Trump world, by which Fox Information has pivoted to culture-war grievances, right-wing outrage bait, and relentless anti-Bidenism, Gutfeld’s broad ideology of being decidedly anti-liberal has undoubtedly helped elevate his profile. In the meantime, Hannity, whose wagon was firmly hitched to all issues Trump fandom, has struggled for an id.

By the 2020 election, the Gutfeld-led daytime speak present The 5 already rose to 3rd place in Fox Information viewership, supplanting Laura Ingraham, one other Fox host whose id appears firmly connected to Trump’s. For the primary half of 2021, Hannity was in a position to maintain off Gutfeld & Co. from taking the No. 2 slot—however solely barely.

As 2021 dragged on, Gutfeld’s inventory solely continued to rise at Fox.

He was awarded his personal nightly 11 p.m. broadcast as a part of Fox’s effort to ditch more of its “straight news” broadcasts for opinion programming. Debuting in April, the “comedy” hour, titled Gutfeld!, changed Fox Information @ Night time and instantly grew to become successful, simply accruing probably the most viewership for its cable timeslot and finally besting most of the broadcast networks’ late-night talk shows.

The late-night present persistently remained within the high 10 of all cable information packages, pulling in a mean of practically 2 million viewers in November. And despite comedians and reviews initially panning the show’s attempts at right-wing humor, Gutfeld soaked in the praises of fellow anti-”woke” panel host Bill Maher.

Gutfeld additionally cemented his standing because the dominant presence on The 5. His clout on the community and inside the panel program has been obvious not simply on digital camera, however behind the scenes when he reportedly played a part in getting liberal colleague Juan Williams booted from the present. By the top of the yr, Gutfeld seemed to drive most of the headlines generated by the 5 p.m. gabfest.

And so, by August 2021, The 5 handed Hannity in complete viewership. The next month, the scores hole between the 2 grew even bigger. Since then, the Gutfeld-helmed noon speak present has persistently crushed Hannity and has not appeared again.

However Gutfeld’s rise doesn’t appear to be stopping there.

After being firmly ensconced in second place, The 5 has come knocking at Tucker’s door. For the month of October, the panel present took first place—by a mere 30,000 viewers. And Hannity remained mired in a reasonably distant third place.

Carlson reclaimed his lead in November with 3.7 million common viewers, however The 5 adopted intently behind with 3.5 million. As soon as once more, Hannity completed a number of hundred thousand viewers behind the Gutfeld-led program.

After barely ending on high within the first week of December, Carlson’s 8 p.m. present positioned second the next two weeks to The 5, which averaged 3.38 million total viewers in a single week, after which followed that up with 3.19 million the next week, simply squeaking by Carlson’s 3.11 million. And because the month wrapped up, The 5 barely reclaimed the scores crown, pulling in a complete viewers of three.34 million to Carlson’s 3.22 million.

However whereas Carlson and Gutfeld now appear to be jockeying for Fox scores dominance, Hannity is clearly left behind: Over the previous two weeks, he drew roughly half-a-million fewer viewers than each Carlson and The 5.

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