Tucker Carlson’s Show Is Bleeding Advertising Money

His ratings aren’t down, but the show’s ad money dropped nearly 50 percent in a year.

Last December, Tucker Carlson returned to one of his favorite kinds of segments on his Fox News show: railing against immigrants. As he's done many other times, he declared that immigration was an attempt by elites to hijack and corrupt U.S. culture, saying, "We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, [our leaders] tell us, even if it makes our own country poor and dirtier and more divided."

Promptly and, some would argue, very appropriately, Carlson started losing advertisers amid calls for a boycott. In a recent interview with Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott, Variety reported on some pretty staggering numbers, namely that the ad revenue for Carlson's show has fallen by nearly 50 percent since 2017. Per Variety:

With marketers shifting some placement away from Carlson and [Laura] Ingraham, Fox News’ primetime is filled with direct-response ads for MyPillow, whose owner, Michael J. Lindell, is an avid Trump supporter, and over-the-counter medications; its news programs are stocked with commercials for luxury cars. Ad money spent in support of Ingraham and [Sean] Hannity rose in 2018, but ad dollars attached to Tucker Carlson Tonight fell 47.8 percent, to $48.3 million from almost $92.7 million in 2017, according to Kantar, a tracker of ad spending. Marianne Gambelli, Fox Corp.’s president of ad sales, says the figures are inaccurate.

Prior to the boycott, Carlson argued that diversity is bad and that without a culturally homogeneous population, the U.S. can't work, asking, "How precisely is diversity our strength? Can you think of other institutions, such as marriage or military units, in which the less people have in common, the more cohesive they are?" He also repeated white nationalist conspiracy theories, for example, running an entire segment on the erroneous claim that the South African government is massacring white farmers to seize their land.

Since then, he's devoted airtime to PayPal's banning of organizations like the white supremacist website VDARE from using its platform. VDARE even thanked Carlson for the shout-out on Twitter. He's also embraced the idea that immigration is a threat to white culture, a fear that animates a tremendous amount of contemporary white nationalist organizing. See, for example, demonstrators at the 2017 Unite the Right rally chanting: "You will not replace us." In January, when a guest brought up the low birthrates of U.S. citizens, Carlson asked, "Why not help your own people to have more children?" And just this Tuesday night, he claimed that Democrats are dedicated to "changing the population."

Still, Carlson's ratings remain high. This past March was the first time his show beat out every other cable news show among viewers 25-54, and Carlson himself remains influential. Ex–white nationalist Derek Black said in a recent interview that his family "watches Tucker Carlson show once and then watches it on the replay because they feel that he is making the white nationalist talking points better than they have and they’re trying to get some tips on how to advance it." And as long as he commands such a large and devoted audience, it's unlikely that Fox News will drop Carlson anytime soon.