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Life Without Tucker: Fox News Stock Downgraded as Viewership Plummets

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Fox News has been foundering ever since it unceremoniously dumped ratings kingpin Tucker Carlson in April — and the devastating fallout is escalating.

On Monday, Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall downgraded Fox Corp. stock and lowered its price target, citing as a key driver plunging cable news viewership following Carlson’s departure, according to Yahoo Finance.

“Wells Fargo analysts downgraded shares of Fox Corporation (NASDAQ:FOXA) to ‘Underweight’ from ‘Equal Weight’ on Monday,” Investing.com reported.

When a stock is downgraded, it means analysts are pessimistic about its chances of providing market-beating investment returns.

When analysts “underweight” a stock, they’re suggesting it has become a less-attractive investment option because it’ll likely underperform similar stocks in its sector.

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In a note to clients explaining the downgrade, Cahall wrote: “Fox’s earnings are mostly Fox News earnings, and Fox News is facing viewership and share pressures. With ecosystem risks also elevated, we find our estimate outlook more negative and below the Street.”

Cahall, who also lowered his price target on Fox Corp. stock from $35 a share to $31, noted that Fox News viewership fell 19 percent from January to June compared with the same period two years earlier, Yahoo reported.

The Wells Fargo analyst blamed dwindling TV ratings and cord-cutting for the downward spiral.

Do you watch Fox News anymore?

“Fox News was 52% of cable news primetime viewership for 2020-22, 51% in Jan’23, and that has slid to a low of 38% in June ’23 post-Tucker Carlson,” Cahall wrote. “Fox News’ share of conservative news viewers has fallen from 94% to 84%.”

None of this is surprising, since Carlson’s show was the cornerstone of Fox’s cable news dominance for years.

In 2022, his cable program averaged 3.03 million viewers per night. After he was fired, ratings for his once-sizzling 8 p.m. time slot tanked 56 percent.

Fox News’ viewership for Carlson’s prior primetime spot remains muted as the network scrambles to win back viewers.

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Fox News was mocked on Twitter for its well-deserved downfall.

At this point, many longtime Fox News viewers have turned their backs on the once high-flying network. And the chances of reversing this trend look bleak, at least for the foreseeable future.

In contrast, Carlson’s prospects for a robust comeback look promising.

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