By Luca Cacciatore
Fox News saw a ratings drop from previous Republican debates because of "four T’s" – Tucker, trust, talent, and Trump – Elizabeth "Beth" Ailes told Newsmax on Tuesday night.
Ailes, the wife of the late Roger Ailes, the founding chair of Fox News, appeared on "Eric Bolling The Balance" to discuss Fox’s catastrophic drop in ratings for its recent Republican debate, which former President Donald Trump skipped due to a "hostile" network.
According to Nielsen, an estimated 12.8 million people watched Wednesday’s Republican debate on Fox, a decline of almost 50% from the more than 24 million people who tuned in when Trump appeared in his first presidential debate in August 2015.
Ailes also pointed to Fox’s firing of Tucker Carlson, its number one rated host last April, as having seismic implications for its audience.
"The decline of Fox can be told as a story of three or perhaps four T’s: That would be Tucker, trust, talent and, of course, President Trump," Ailes told Bolling. "Imagine if the network had not fired Tucker, we could imagine that Tucker got the president to participate in a debate or perhaps give an interview, maybe not at the same time.
"But imagine how many people would have watched that."
Ailes suggested the Murdoch family, controlling shareholders of Fox’s parent company, are out of touch with Fox’s audience.
"Trust is something that takes a lot of hard work," she said.
"I believe Rupert, the major Murdoch, and Lachlan, the minor Murdoch, do not understand America the way Roger did because they weren’t born here," she added of the Australian billionaire and his family.
"They don’t have the love of country, in my opinion, that only comes from being born here," she said.
The 92-year-old Rupert Murdoch was born in Australia but became a U.S. citizen in 1985.
Since her husband departed the network in 2016, Ailes suggested Fox has suffered from a "lack of leadership."
"It is not the brand it once was," she said.
And that fact has opened up competition from networks like Newsmax.
"I think that a lot of the audience has left," Ailes told Bolling.
"And that’s because there’s no more Eric Bolling. There’s no more Bill O’Reilly. There’s no Greta [Van Susteren]. Where is everybody? They’re on Newsmax."
"And frankly, I think that Fox, like the other mainstream news channels, are boring," she added. "They repeat the same thing every hour."