Since Bill O’Reilly left Fox News in April 2017 amid scandal, Hannity has reliably been the channel’s most-watched host; 2020 was his fourth year in a row as cable’s top personality.
But the recent batch of numbers tell a new story for Hannity as well as Fox. Carlson, who joined the Fox prime-time lineup in 2016 and now occupies the 8 p.m. slot, has beaten Hannity in total viewers for the last five months, a stunning reversal that suggests it’s Carlson who may be on his way to becoming Fox’s biggest draw.
While Hannity, who regularly spoke on the phone with Trump, was Fox’s most prominent supporter of his presidency, Carlson is seen as more independent. And Carlson, who is eight years younger than Hannity, is said to be close with the Murdoch family, particularly Lachlan.
Hannity took Biden’s win personally. He repeatedly told his viewers during inauguration week that he had tried to “warn” America about Biden’s policies, calling out the new president for signing several executive orders undoing some of Trump’s actions on immigration and the environment.