In a bold programming move last night, One America News (OAN) encouraged its viewers to “forget the debate” and instead tune into the highly-anticipated Tucker Carlson-Donald Trump interview.
Dan Ball, the host on OAN, excitedly made the announcement: “Before we leave you we have a special treat. The Herring Broadcasting family and myself want to thank Tucker Carlson, because you have a treat right now. I’m going to shut up and you are going to see the Trump-Tucker interview that is broadcasting live over on Twitter, or X, right here on One America News.”
The decision by OAN to air the Trump-Tucker interview, which was concurrently live-streaming on Twitter, was significant for several reasons.
Ball added a cherry on top by mentioning that OAN was possibly the only network granted permission by Tucker Carlson to simulcast the interview.
“So forget the debate. Watch Tucker and Trump. And we’ll see you tomorrow night,” Ball concluded, making OAN’s stance clear on what they believe was the most relevant content for their audience.
The decision to counterprogram the debate with the Trump-Tucker interview was not just a programming strategy, but also a clear statement about OAN’s belief in the ongoing relevance and pull of Trump’s voice.
The much-anticipated interview between Carlson and Trump on Wednesday not only exceeded expectations but shattered records, leaving other traditional media outlets reeling.
Hosted on Tucker Carlson’s show, Episode 19, titled “Debate Night with Donald J Trump,” garnered a staggering 212.3 million views. To put this into perspective, when Fox News broke the debate ratings record back in 2015, largely attributed to Trump’s participation, the event peaked at 24 million viewers.
Pollster Rich Baris highlighted the overwhelming contrast between the two events. “When FOX broke the debate ratings record in 2015 because of Trump, it was 24M viewers. It will not come anywhere near the @TuckerCarlson interview with Donald Trump, which was about 74M at end and now approximately 190M,” he tweeted.
When FOX broke debate ratings record in 2015, B/C of Trump, it was 24M viewers.
It will not come anywhere near the @TuckerCarlson interview with Donald Trump, which was about 74M at end and now appx. 190M.
Trump won the debate based on that and opponent errors at the debate.
— Rich Baris "The People's Pundit" (@Peoples_Pundit) August 24, 2023
Sebastian Gorka, a prominent conservative figure, didn’t mince words when summarizing the situation. “75 million viewers for Tucker and President Trump in one hour. FOX is dead,” Gorka proclaimed in a tweet that quickly gained traction.
75 million viewers for Tucker and President Trump in one hour.
FOX is dead.
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) August 24, 2023
It’s clear that the former president’s appeal still remains strong, with millions tuning in. Meanwhile, it looks like Tucker also got revenge on his former network. Despite the fact that Fox hosted the debate with the other candidates, the former host seems to be doing just fine.