Fact Check: Are Fox News' Daytime Ratings Collapsing, as Trump Claims?

Fox News has been a staple for many on the right and has had constant support from President Donald Trump since he has been in office. Is that beginning to change?

Focused as he is on ratings, Trump on Thursday tweeted a claim that Fox News' daytime ratings are collapsing.

The Claim

".@FoxNews daytime ratings have completely collapsed. Weekend daytime even WORSE. Very sad to watch this happen, but they forgot what made them successful, what got them there. They forgot the Golden Goose. The biggest difference between the 2016 Election, and 2020, was @FoxNews!" Trump tweeted on November 12, 2020.

The Facts

Fox News finished the third quarter (July to September) at No. 1 for total daytime viewers for the 17th straight quarter, according to its quarterly report. Fox News averaged 1.8 million compared to second-place MSNBC at 1.2 million and third-place CNN at 971,000.

Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation, suggested that the ratings of major news companies such as Fox will noticeably decline after the election. A consideration is that Joe Biden is "less prone to make declarations on Twitter—and to show up with great frequency on primetime Fox News programs such as Hannity or morning programs such as Fox & Friends, Variety reported. Murdoch did not mention Biden or Trump in his reasoning.

On Wednesday, November 4, Fox News' morning show, Fox and Friends, reported the highest rating in its 22-year history. During the three-hour show (6 to 9 a.m. EST), Fox and Friends brought in 4.6 million views and more than 1 million in the 24-25 demographic. Fox & Friends' 8 a.m. hour led the way with 5.5 million viewers. Additionally, its average outdrew primetime broadcast networks NBC (3.6 million), CBS (2.6 million) and ABC (3.1 million) on Wednesday, according to outkick.com.

Fox News recorded its highest-rated September in network history this year.

On Election Day, Fox took the win with the most viewers during primetime, averaging 14.1 million despite being down 20 percent in total viewership. Fox News more than doubled second-place CNN, which averaged 9.4 million. However, by the end of the week, CNN took the lead with an average of 5.9 million to Fox News' 5.7 million.

Though when Biden became the projected winner of the 2020 election," Fox News's audience plummeted yesterday after Biden became president-elect. During the Biden/Harris speeches, Fox had three million viewers, the lowest total of any network," wrote Michael Grynbaum in a The New York Times election update column.

The Ruling

False.

It's not surprising that Fox News' ratings would drop during speeches by the Democratic winners. But having the highest-rated Fox & Friends ever and the network finishing No. 1 for the 17th consecutive quarter in daytime suggest they're not collapsing.

Brian Kilmeade
A screenshot of an October Fox & Friends morning show. Fox News