Jesse Watters to Fill Tucker Carlson’s Old Slot as Fox Shuffles Prime-Time Lineup
Fox News shook up its prime-time lineup on Monday in the first major reorganization to its most popular programming since the beginning of the Trump administration. The moves include permanently filling the 8 p.m. slot that has been vacant since the network canceled Tucker Carlson’s show in April.
The changes will result in the promotion of two rising stars at the network — Jesse Watters, whose show will move to 8 p.m. from 7 p.m., and Greg Gutfeld, who has been hosting an 11 p.m. comedy and current events program that regularly draws higher ratings than late night rivals like Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel. Mr. Gutfeld’s show will now be at 10 p.m.
Laura Ingraham, who has hosted a 10 p.m. program since 2017, will move to 7 p.m., occupying the hour that Mr. Watters has been hosting. Sean Hannity, a mainstay at Fox News since its early days, will remain in his 9 p.m. slot.
Fox’s prime time ratings have consistently been the highest in cable news but have fallen off by roughly one-third since the network took Mr. Carlson off the air. His departure followed a string of public relations headaches and legal problems stemming from both his offensive commentary, on and off the air, and a lawsuit from a former producer claiming that he had enabled a toxic workplace.
In April, shortly before canceling Mr. Carlson’s show, Fox News and its parent company settled a defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million. Some of Mr. Carlson’s private text messages became public during the case, including some in which he attacked network colleagues, denigrated former President Donald J. Trump and said he did not believe that the results of the 2020 election were materially affected by voter fraud.
One especially damaging text, which set off a crisis at the top of the Fox Corporation, expressed inflammatory views about violence and race.
Jeremy W. Peters covers media and its intersection with politics, law and culture. He is the author of “Insurgency: How Republicans Lost Their Party and Got Everything They Ever Wanted.” He is a contributor to MSNBC. @jwpetersnyt • Facebook
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