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Tucker Carlson and the Decline of Cable TV

What does Carlson's move to Twitter mean for legacy media?

Tucker Carlson, longtime host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News, “parted ways” with the media empire, and just weeks later, announced that he would be starting a new, independent show. It was a quick turnaround. Interesting thing is, Carlson said the show would air not on cable television, but on Twitter. He said that Twitter is basically the forum where today’s ideas are formulated, exchanged, and debated, and that there’s currently no better place to practice video journalism. Here’s the clip of Carlson so you can hear him for yourself.

Fox News lost considerable ratings since Carlson’s departure. He was their most popular host by a longshot. On the same day he was let go, CNN fired their own evening host Don Lemon. In an ironic twist, two prominent faces representing opposing political philosophies were sent into the wild on the same day. Now, it seems worth asking whether Carlson’s move to Twitter might signal a broader trend in the media world. Elon Musk, who of course owns Twitter, has said that “citizen journalism” will someday totally replace the legacy media. With other companies, like YouTube, and the writing platform Substack, more and more people (whether they’re qualified or not) have the ability to broadcast themselves to the world. Carlson enjoyed a massive audience when he was at Fox, and it might just get bigger on Twitter. How will places like Fox, CNN, and MSNBC compete with that? Within twenty minutes, Carlson’s announcement video already had millions of impressions. Petr Svab, writing for the Epoch Times, commented,

The recent firing of Tucker Carlson, formerly Fox News’ most popular host, is somewhat emblematic of the broader issue. Whatever led the network to fire him, it must have outweighed the preferences of its audience and even its immediate financial interests, noted Sharyl Attkisson, an independent journalist formerly with CBS News.

-Petr Svab, ANALYSIS: Tucker Carlson’s Firing Underscores Legacy Media Divorce From Americans, Media Insiders Say (theepochtimes.com)

It seems like legacy media are growing increasingly out of touch with its American viewership. The blatant partisanship in media outlets doesn’t help; Carlson’s relocation to Twitter is indicative of the fact.

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Tucker Carlson and the Decline of Cable TV