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Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade Responds to Criticism After Tucker Carlson Exit

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 07: Host Brian Kilmeade as Jean Dolores Schmidt, also known as Sister Jean, visits "Fox & Friends" at Fox News Studios on March 07, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade defended his network after critics targeted the channel following the departure of Tucker Carlson last week and subsequent drop in primetime ratings.

In response to a question from podcast host Frank Morano last week, Kilmeade said that Fox is “just as strong as ever. I mean, put it this way. I mean, did Sean Hannity change? Did Laura Ingraham change? Did Bret Baier change? Did The Five, the No. 1 show in all of television, change?”

“What are you talking about? Tucker’s very different. He’s the original thought leader. I’m with his team now,” he added. “They’re unbelievable in terms of producers. You’ve got a great producing team here.”

Morano had asked Kilmeade, the host of “Fox & Friends,” about whether the network will lose viewers after podcaster and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and others urged Fox viewers to stop watching following Carlson’s departure.

The Fox News host answered, in part, by saying that Bannon and other critics of the network wouldn’t be able to run the channel.

“These are a bunch of people who think they can run this network and they can’t. And one thing I will tell you … no one tells us what to do,” he said. “No one—’Fox & Friends,’ three hours in the morning, three-hour radio show, you know, something goes wrong, we have media relations call and say, ‘What happened?’ That’s about it. So it’s the No. 1 show for 25 years. And I don’t think we have to curtail our format to make Steve Bannon happy.”

In response, Bannon wrote a response on social network Gettr, suggesting that Kilmeade is being used as a mouthpiece by Fox owner Rupert Murdoch’s family: “The Murdochs try to punch back [at] WarRoom with yapping puppy Kilmeade as he implodes in Tucker’s old slot.”

Kilmeade was tapped to host “Fox News Tonight” at 8 p.m. ET after Carlson’s exit, starting last Monday. But ratings for the fill-in show dropped precipitously with each consecutive day.

During the first airing of “Fox News Tonight” with Kilmeade—coming after Fox News announced it “parted ways” with Carlson hours prior—some 2.59 million watched. On Tuesday, that figure dropped to about 1.7 million, ratings show.

On the night of Wednesday, April 26, Kilmeade’s temporary hosting gig on the fill-in show delivered just 1.33 million viewers and was No. 2 behind MSNBC’s “All In” with Chris Hayes, which drew 1.37 million. That’s down from about 3 million viewers when Carlson hosted the week prior.

For all of March, Carlson’s show averaged above 3 million viewers per program. A spokesperson for Fox News last week told The Epoch Times in an email Carlson’s show was No. 2 behind “The Five,” a weekday opinion show that airs at 5 p.m. ET.

The nightly Fox programs hosted by Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Jesse Watters also took hits to their respective ratings in the past week. “Gutfeld,” hosted by Greg Gutfeld, was the only Fox News primetime show that saw an increase, according to the ratings.

While he did not address speculation around his departure, Carlson released a video on his Twitter page on April 26 at 8 p.m. and criticized the state of the media. So far, about 23.3 million viewed the video and 78.6 million saw the post, drawing nearly 1 million likes on the platform.

“The other thing you notice when you take a little time off is how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are,” he said. “They’re completely irrelevant. They mean nothing. In five years, we won’t even remember we heard them. Trust me, as somebody who participated.”

  • maga24 says:

    I wont watch any show with Kilmeade on it, this guy is a clown. Its why Gutfeld rips on him, because hes a joke and everyone knows it.

    • fjb says:

      He is a Sports announcer ….U….any 1 that follows Sport today has got to realize that when some 1 gets 7 million a year to catch a ball….there is something wrong Here

  • LP says:

    Anyone still watching FOX is part of the problem and not the solution. There are other ways to be informed like OAN or podcasts on Rumble.

  • fjb says:

    Fox blocks my Messages reply….I go to a friend house next door…and the same article I can see there are commits…..Screw U fox Media

  • Boycotter says:

    Lol@ “yapping puppy”. Kilmeade is an ass kisser.

    Ford announced it is moving suv manufacturing from canada to china. Wow. Add them to the boycott list fast !!

    We support:
    Real America’s Voice for real news and Yuengling for real American beer !
    Boycott list:
    Ford, Fox, Nike, Google, Coke, Kraft-Heinz, Maybelline, Disney, ALL>Anheuser Busch products & ALL mainstream media.
    Not one more cent or one more minute from our household will be spent on these anti-American freaks ! EVER !!

  • JoeB Zaperv says:

    Kilmeade is a leftie douche who’s always quick to criticize President Trump. Now he’s telling us to move on from Tucker’s removal from Fox. Guess he’s looking forward to moving into Tucker’s slot.

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