The Fox Corporation (NASDAQ: FOX) stock price has been under pressure as investors come to terms with the abrupt firing of Tucker Carlson. The shares plunged to a low of $29.12, the lowest level since January.
It is still unclear why Fox decided to fire the most popular person in cable news. According to the WSJ, the company decided to fire him for delivering incendiary remarks about colleagues.
Megyn Kelly, a former Fox News host, has hypothesized that the decision was because of Carlson’s pro-Trump stance. With Murdoch’s empire leaning towards Ron Desantis, Tucker Carlson was seen as more extreme. The other theory are that Tucker was risky for Fox as it faces numerous lawsuits.
The impact of Turker’s exit on revenue will be negligible since he brought no meaningful ad revenue. Also, some national brands could now come back to the network. Besides, CNN still generates huge sums of ad revenue despite its low ratings. Still, the exit could remove Fox leverage as it negotiates with cable carriers in the next two years.
In terms of ratings, Fox will certainly lose as evidenced by the latest numbers. Data shows that Fox News Tonight attracted just 1.7 million viewers, 47% below that of Tucker Carlson.
The next key catalyst for the Fox stock price is on the person who will replace Tucker Carlson permanently. It is still unclear who will fill those shoes. According to Google Bard, the likely contenders are Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Greg Gutfeld. Microsoft Bing AI Assistant and Megyn Kelly, Jesse Watters is a major contender.
Personally, I believe that the best Tucker Carlson could be Piers Morgan, the British broadcaster. Morgan was highly rated at Good Morning Britain. The show’s ratings have crashed after he left in 2021.
Since then, he has built a huge audience in YouTube and in TalkTV, a company that is owned by Rupert Murdoch. He shares most of the views expressed by Tucker Carlson and has decades of experience in the industry.
I also believe that, while he is not an American, he can connect with both conservatives and liberals, as evidenced by his recent appearance with Bill Maher.
I suspect that the Fox Corporation share price will continue being volatile in the next few weeks as investors react to Carlson’s firing. The company also faces numerous lawsuits and succession challenges. Therefore, all these issues could push the shares to $27.50, the lowest level on December 19. In the long term, the shares will rebound as the stock becomes undervalued.
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