On Monday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson abruptly departed the network — a move that the network described as an agreement to part ways but that news reports indicated was the result of Carlson suddenly being fired by Fox News.
A YouGov poll conducted after Carlson's departure found that about three-quarters of Americans (77%) had heard about his firing in the days after it happened. Americans overall are more likely to approve (44%) than disapprove (28%) of Carlson being ousted, though they are split on whether the firing will prove to be good (24%) or bad (23%) for Fox News overall.
Americans who say Fox News is the cable news network they watch most often are more likely to disapprove (50%) than approve (29%) of Carlson being fired. People who say they watch Fox News every day disapprove of Carlson's departure by a wider margin: 62% to 30%. Republicans (51%) are much more likely than Independents (28%) and Democrats (9%) to disapprove of the sudden programming overhaul.
People who say Fox News is the cable network they watch the most are more likely to say Carlson's departure will be good (34%) than bad (12%) for the network overall — though fewer daily viewers (29%) and Republicans (17%) expect that his departure ultimately will benefit the network. People who have a favorable opinion of Carlson are less likely to say it will be good (23%) for Fox News than people who have an unfavorable opinion (36%) of Carlson.
Even with Carlson's departure, Americans who watch Fox News weekly or more often and who are familiar with the network's anchors trust the people they know — including several at Fox News — for news just as much as the people who know Carlson trust him. Majorities of Fox News' weekly viewers who are familiar with each of the following people also trust recently departed political commentator Dan Bongino (64%), chief political correspondent Bret Baier (63%), morning host Maria Bartiromo (63%), and host Sean Hannity (60%) — a similar share as the 60% of people familiar with Carlson who say they trust him.
A 2022 YouGov poll measuring trust in media outlets and news personalities found that Carlson was among the most trusted news figures overall for Republicans who were familiar with him. Two-thirds of Republicans who were familiar with Carlson (65%) called him trustworthy. In that poll, he ranked the highest among the Fox News hosts that were asked about among Republicans, ahead of Laura Ingraham (61%), Hannity (59%), and Baier (54%).
— Carl Bialik and Taylor Orth contributed to this article
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Methodology: The poll was conducted among 1,000 U.S. adult citizens on April 25 - 28, 2023. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to March 15, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 28% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.
Image: Getty Images (Jason Koerner)