Fox News is facing the downgrading of its parent company’s stock following the departure of popular host Tucker Carlson earlier this year. The news network has suffered a loss in viewership as it accuses Carlson of a breach of contract.
Wells Fargo downgraded the stock of the Fox Corporation this week, calling it underweight. Following the exit of the host, the network saw its 8 p.m. viewership share fall by almost half.
The network recently announced that Fox News personality Jesse Watters would permanently fill the slot.
Overall, the network’s share of primetime news viewership has declined from 51% in January 2023 to 38% in June. Furthermore, a May Economist/YouGov poll found that a quarter of Americans watch the network less following Carlson’s last show.
Since exiting the news giant, Carlson has launched a new program, “Tucker on Twitter” on social media, which received considerable attention.
Carlson is also hosting a candidate forum with Republican 2024 candidates, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The recent stock valuation news is not the first controversy to affect the network since parting ways with the longtime host.
In June, Fox accused Carlson of breach of contract due to his new program.
According to a letter reportedly sent by the network to Carlson’s legal team, the network argues that it “reserves all rights and remedies” regarding what it describes as a “breach” of Carlson’s contract. Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, Mr. Carlson’s ‘services shall be completely exclusive to Fox,'” the letter states.
Fox News also asserts that its former host is “prohibited from rendering services of any type whatsoever, whether ‘over the internet via streaming or similar distribution, or other digital distribution whether now known or hereafter devised.'”
Following receipt of the letter, Carlson’s attorneys criticized Fox News.
“Fox defends its very existence on freedom of speech grounds,” attorney Bryan Freedman said. “Now they want to take Tucker Carlson’s right to speak freely away from him because he took to social media to share his thoughts on current events.”