A night after Fox News host Tucker Carlson set off a social media firestorm by mockingly describing his MSNBC 8 PM competitor Chris Hayes as a feminist’s dream because he wears glasses and cares about the environment, Carlson led all of cable news in the key 25-54 advertising demographic while Hayes was last among primetime cable news programs.
According to Nielsen, Tucker Carlson Tonight averaged 569,000 demo viewers and 2.938 million viewers overall, easily leading its time slot and placing second overall in total viewership.
In comparison, All In with Chris Hayes drew 217,000 in the key demo and 1.512 million total viewers. Despite CNN’s primetime ratings cratering in the wake of Attorney General William Barr’s summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report finding no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, all three CNN primetime programs were able to top Hayes.
For the day, Fox News led across the board and boasted the four most-watched programs in cable news — Tucker, Hannity, The Ingraham Angle and The Five. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show was the top-rated non-Fox show, drawing 2.475 million viewers overall and 407,000 in the demo.
While Tucker Carlson Tonight has consistently drawn high ratings in recent months and led cable news in the demo in March, the program is currently suffering through a prolonged and debilitating advertiser boycott. Variety reported this week that ad revenue for Carlson’s show was slashed nearly in half in 2018 compared to the previous year.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t appear the situation is going to improve anytime soon, as Carlson’s ad load is less than half of what it was when the boycott began in mid-December following the host’s claim that immigration makes America “poorer and dirtier.”
Of the few remaining advertisers, Tucker Carlson Tonight is heavily reliant on direct-response advertisers such as MyPillow, which generally runs four minutes of commercials a night. Fox News has also been padding Tucker’s ad breaks with numerous station promos.