Internal Fox News sources were quoted in a report over the weekend that claimed to know which current network anchor has the “inside track” to replace Tucker Carlson in the primetime slot.
The cable news network is likely to replace Carlson at 8 p.m. EDT, according to two sources who spoke to the publication 19FortyFive. Ingraham currently hosts a show at 10 p.m. EDT, so taking Carlson’s time would give her a lot more opportunity to increase viewership.
While Ingraham appears to be the front-runner, at least for the time being, to fill 8 pm, there are other possibilities.
Sean Hannity, who now airs at 9 p.m., might relocate to the popular 8 p.m. time slot and would be a strong contender for the job. It’s also conceivable that Jessie Watters will move from 7 to 8 p.m., with Special Report with Brett Baier following for an hour. Moving more talent and shows around would be a long shot if the popular news program at 6 p.m. remained at that time.
In such a shake-up of in-house talent, Shannon Bream, who has stepped in for Baier and is currently hosting Fox News Sunday, could pick up the 7 pm or 10 pm time slot and make more moves.
Fox News has lost its standing atop the cable news market after officials opted to take top host Carlson off the air, and now they have to figure out how to cope with it.
Following Carlson’s firing, the network will not alter its primetime strategy, according to Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox Corporation.
Lachlan Murdoch, the CEO of Fox Corporation, said during a Tuesday earnings call that the network’s primetime strategy would not change in the wake of Tucker Carlson’s unexpected departure. Carlson hosted “Tucker Carlson Tonight” for seven years and rose to prominence in the conservative movement, according to the Daily Wire.
The news that Carlson and Fox News would be “parting ways” was made public last month.
“As regards to our programming strategy in primetime, there’s no change to our programming strategy at Fox News,” Lachlan responded after being asked about the network’s strategy moving forward. “It’s obviously a successful strategy. And as always, we are adjusting our programming and our lineup, and that’s what we continue to do. We are pleased with the strength of the advertising demand throughout our schedule, but particularly primetime.”
The Daily Wire added:
Fox News dominated primetime ratings in the first three months of 2023, easily surpassing networks such as CNN and MSNBC with more than 2 million viewers each evening, during which “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was consistently the top primetime show, especially among the 25-54 age demographic coveted by advertisers.
In the weeks after the Carlson ouster, on the other hand, Fox News averaged 1.5 million viewers at primetime and maintained none of the ten most popular cable programs. The five final editions of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” had accounted for each of the five largest primetime audiences at Fox News in the week before the ouster.
During the conference call, Murdoch and the other Fox executives revealed a $50 million quarterly loss, a sharp decline from the $290 million profit realized during the same period last year. The main reason for the loss was the settlement of around $800 million paid to Dominion Voting Systems, which claimed that Fox News hosts had propagated untrue information regarding the company’s voting machines after the 2020 presidential election. Allegations against Dominion included suggestions that it had manipulated votes and paid bribes.
“We made the business decision to resolve this dispute and avoid the acrimony of a divisive trial and a multiyear appeal process,” Murdoch said during the call. “Our decision is clearly in the best interest of the company and its shareholders. The settlement in no way alters Fox’s commitment to the highest journalistic standards…”