The New York Times published a three-part series on Tucker Carlson Saturday.
The series said segments on immigration and demographic change are a hit with Carlson’s audience.
“Every second that goes on that network now gets scrutinized,” a former Fox employee told The Times.
Fox News and host Tucker Carlson look closely at minute-by-minute ratings that show there’s an appetite among its audience for talking points embraced by white nationalists, according to a report published Saturday by The New York Times.
The Times published a three-part series called “American Nationalist” that’s all about Carlson, cable TV’s highest-rated primetime pundit.
Three former Fox employees told the Times Carlson specifically relied on “minute-by-minute” ratings data. Such data is more expensive than “quarter-hour” ratings used by other cable newsrooms, but it provides feedback down to the minute on what leads viewers to change the channel or stick around.
Carlson’s stories about immigration or warnings of demographic change in the US, like the white nationalist “Great Replacement” theory, were a hit, the outlet reported.
“He is going to double down on the white nationalism because the minute-by-minutes show that the audience eats it up,” another former Fox employee who worked with Carlson told the Times.
Fox in general increasingly focused on minute-by-minutes ratings, which showed segments that featured Fox reporters or stories considered unfavorable to Trump were not interesting to viewers, the outlet reported.
“They’re all obsessed with the minute-by-minutes,” another former Fox employee told the Times. “Every second that goes on that network now gets scrutinized.”
In a statement shared with Insider, Justin Wells, a senior executive producer for Carlson’s show, said: “Tucker Carlson programming embraces diversity of thought and presents various points of view in an industry where contrarian thought and the search for truth are often ignored.”
A Fox spokesperson also said: “We couldn’t be prouder of our entire team, whose commitment to excellence in journalism and opinion has led FOX News Media to all-time ratings records and delivered the best in class to our viewers.”
Fox also noted to Insider that the writer of the series on Carlson, Nicholas Confessore, is a contributor at MSNBC, a Fox competitor, a fact the Times also disclosed.
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