Nobody can ever replace Tucker Carlson as far as his fans are concerned, but Fox News Channel has decided which of its personalities will fill his shoes in the coveted primetime slot.
Jesse Watters, host of “Jesse Watters Primetime,” will shift from 7 p.m. ET to the 8 p.m. ET hour previously hosted by Mr. Carlson. Laura Ingraham, who anchors the 10 p.m. ET show, will assume the 7 p.m. ET slot.
“Hannity” anchor Sean Hannity will remain in the 9 p.m. ET slot, while “Gutfeld!” star Greg Gutfeld will move up an hour to 10 p.m. ET.
Newsman Trace Gallagher, host of “Fox News @ Night,” will also see his show air an hour earlier by switching from midnight to 11 p.m. ET.
In other words, Fox will move up its powerhouse primetime line-up by an hour and shift “The Ingraham Angle” to the kickoff slot, but no new personalities will be added in Mr. Carlson’s wake.
“FOX News Channel has been America’s destination for news and analysis for more than 21 years and we are thrilled to debut a new lineup,” said Suzanne Scott, Fox News Media CEO. “The unique perspectives of Laura Ingraham, Jesse Watters, Sean Hannity, and Greg Gutfeld will ensure our viewers have access to unrivaled coverage from our best-in-class team for years to come.”
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The reshuffled primetime line-up will debut July 17.
POWERFUL PRIMETIME: Fox News unveils new evening lineuphttps://t.co/Q9U9tRposR
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 26, 2023
Fox News Channel has seen its ratings dip amid outrage over the April ouster of Mr. Carlson, who has since launched a daily social-media program called “Tucker on Twitter,” part of billionaire Elon Musk’s strategy to make Twitter more of a news platform.
From June 5-11, MSNBC edged Fox in primetime viewership, ending Fox’s 120-week streak at the top, followed by CNN in third place among cable networks, according to Nielsen data reported by Forbes.
Even so, Mr. Watters, Mr. Hannity, Mr. Gutfeld and Ms. Ingraham all won their time slots in terms of total viewers on Thursday, the most recent date for which ratings were available.
Ms. Ingraham has been challenged for time-slot dominance with MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” but Fox described her program as the “top-rated show in the 10 PM/ET time slot since it launched in 2017.”
“She has hosted a series of highly rated town halls including Red State Trailblazers, Time for Class and Georgia and the Battle for Senate,” said the network. “A former litigator and Supreme Court law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, Ingraham joined FNC in 2007 as a contributor, providing political and legal analysis to FNC’s daytime and primetime programming.”
Mr. Watters’ show has dominated the 7 p.m. ET slot since it was launched 18 months ago, “delibvering the highest-rated 7 PM/ET hour in cable news history,” said Fox.
“In addition to hosting Primetime, Watters is also a co-host of The Five, the 5 PM/ET roundtable discussion program that has been number one in cable news and all of cable for the last seven consecutive quarters,” the network said.
“Gutfeld!” has been the top-rated late-night show for 27 months, beating the broadcast network programs, including CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”
Fox sent a cease-and-desist letter two weeks ago to Mr. Carlson, who remains under contract to Fox until Dec. 31, 2024, over the June 6 launch of his Twitter show, Carlson attorney Harmeet Dhillon told Axios.
“Fox News continues to ignore the interests of its viewers, not to mention its shareholder obligations,” Ms. Dhillon said.
Mr. Carlson was abruptly removed without explanation from the Fox airwaves on April 24, days after Fox settled a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million.