Jesse Watters will fill the Fox News Channel time slot left vacant by the firing of Tucker Carlson, part of a revamp of the network’s evening lineup announced on Monday.
Greg Gutfeld’s late-night show that combines news and comedy will move up an hour to start at 10 p.m. Eastern, displacing Laura Ingraham. She’ll shift to 7 p.m., the hour that Watters has occupied. Sean Hannity will stay in his 9 p.m. time slot, Fox said. The new lineup debuts on July 17.
The announcement comes about two months after Fox News fired Carlson shortly after settling a defamation lawsuit with the voting machine maker Dominion Voting Systems on the eve of trial.
The case, which centered on the network’s airing of false claims following the 2020 presidential election, exposed a trove of private messages sent between Fox hosts including Hannity and Carlson in which they criticized peers at the network.
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Fox has seen its ratings tumble since Carlson exited. Carlson averaged 3.25 million viewers at 8 p.m. in the first three months of the year, and the string of guest hosts who replaced him the past two months usually reached under 2 million.
The lineup change signals that Fox is doubling down on its opinionated evening programming strategy, with three sharp-tongued men filling the prime-time hours. It’s something of a return for Watters, who got his start at the 8 p.m. hour, doing man-in-the-street interviews and other features for Bill O’Reilly before O’Reilly’s firing in 2017.
It also means double duty for Gutfeld and Watters, who are both panelists on “The Five” and will continue there. The late-afternoon political talk show has become Fox’s most popular program.
Keeping that show’s chemistry intact appeared to be a priority for Fox. Gutfeld said in a Wall Street Journal interview last week that he would no longer appear on “The Five” or do his late-night show if he were to get Carlson’s old time slot.
Trace Gallagher, who has worked at Fox since the network began in 1996, will host a news show at 11 p.m., filling the hour that Gutfeld is leaving vacant.
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