Tucker Carlson Topped All Cable News Shows Last Month in Key Demo Despite Ad Boycott

March marks first time “Tucker Carlson Tonight” has beaten everyone among adults 25-54

Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson just won his first month in cable news ratings at Fox News Channel’s 8 p.m. time slot. And the victory came despite the ongoing boycott against the Fox host’s advertisers.

For March, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” claimed cable news’ top spot in the 25-54 demo for the first time in the program’s history, with 537,000 viewers per night in that advertiser-coveted age range. His pal Sean Hannity was second with 533,000.

It’s worth noting here that Carlson had been No. 1 when he took over for Megyn Kelly in Fox’s 9 p.m. hour a few years ago, but this is his first win since replacing Bill O’Reilly in the 8 p.m. timeslot.

Carlson has been on Fox News at 8 o’clock for just under two years now, having launched this version on April 24, 2017.

Fox’s current 9 o’clock series “Hannity” topped all of cable news in total viewers for March, with 3.145 million, much like he did for the first quarter of 2019 (3.121 million).

Carlson came in second per in the total-audience metric for March, with 3.032 million, though MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow averaged 3.057 million viewers for the full first quarter, compared to Carlson’s 2.982 million.

“Maddow” was actually No. 1 in the key news demo for the whole quarter, edging “Hannity” and banishing Carlson to third.

FNC was No. 1 outright in primetime for both March and the first quarter. MSNBC finished second and CNN was third.

Primetime on each of the cable news channels declined from their prior Marches and their respective first quarters of 2018. On a March-to-March basis, Fox News retained demo ratings far better than its competition, though MSNBC was actually closest to matching the comparative month overall.

For the full quarter, FNC primetime was nearly flat with last year’s total viewers, but it shed a larger percentage of demo viewers than CNN. MSNBC suffered the greatest percentage decline in the key demo.


Carlson has faced new pressure on his sponsors after the liberal watchdog group Media Matters dropped a compilation of years’ worth of audio that documented Carlson’s regular appearances on the the radio show of Bubba the Love Sponge between 2006 and 2011.

In the recordings, Carlson made disparaging remarks about women, including calling television host Alexis Stewart “c—ty.” See how his advertisers responded here.

Back in December, Carlson lost sponsors after saying that immigrants made the United States a “poorer” and “dirtier” country. He subsequently shed some more advertisers after suggesting that high-earning women had become a cause for social ills in the U.S. and warned that men would not want to marry them.