President Donald Trump on Saturday called Fox News “unwatchable” and urged his followers to watch more conservative outlets as his relationship with the network grows increasingly tense in the aftermath of the election.
“@FoxNews daytime is virtually unwatchable, especially during the weekends,” he tweeted. “Watch @OANN, @newsmax, or almost anything else. You won’t have to suffer through endless interviews with Democrats, and even worse!”
—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2020
The Sunday morning tweet came hours before Trump was scheduled to appear in an interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo later Sunday in his first interview since the presidential election.
Trump’s tweet was his latest attempt to discredit Fox News. For weeks, he has been slamming the outlet after it declared President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory. Trump has been encouraging his Twitter followers to switch over to conservative outlet Newsmax. Trump allies are even exploring the possibility of acquiring and investing in Newsmax to boost the outlet as a competitor to the Fox News Channel.
Newsmax amplified Trump’s message in a reply to his tweet, directing people to its platform and billing itself as a “great choice for your weekend news.”
Meanwhile, Fox News is trying to protect its viewership by asking live TV guests to avoid appearing on its emerging rival, Newsmax.
Fox News, where some hosts appeared over the past four years as staunch supporters of Trump’s every move, started to diverge from him after the 2020 race was called for Biden. Trump has so far refused to concede, but some of his closest advisors and vocal allies — Fox News hosts included — have been encouraging him to reconsider.
Since then, Trump has repeatedly slammed the outlet and its ratings appear to have taken a hit. Nielsen data reported by the Associated Press said viewership fell by nearly a third from two weeks before the election to two weeks after.
Data from Morning Consult also show that favorability among Republicans for Fox News dropped by 13% in the days following the election.
Newsmax ratings, on the other hand, are rapidly increasing with Trump’s backing. The platform, which has been backing Trump up on his claim that the race between him and Biden remains undecided, has not called the 2020 presidential election.
Neither Fox News nor the White House immediately returned Business Insider’s request for comment.