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BULLETIN: Jesse Watters to Replace Tucker Carlson

DEVELOPING STORY: Fox News Channel announced that Jesse Watters will replace Tucker Carlson in a major primetime reshuffling that the network hopes will please angry viewers.

Fox News has fallen on hard times in the aftermath of Carlson’s departure. Viewers have fled the network in droves in favor of the upstart conservative Newsmax television network.

Watters, who got his start as a staff member when Bill O’Reilly anchored the 8 p.m. hour, will continue to co-host The Five.

Laura Ingraham will move to 7 p.m. and Sean Hannity will remain at 9 p.m. Greg Gutfeld’s late-night show will move to 10 p.m. and Trace Gallagher will move up to 11 p.m.

 “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. 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,” said Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott.

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Read the full statement from Fox:

NEW YORK – June 26, 2023 – FOX News Channel (FNC) will debut a new primetime lineup on July 17th, announced Suzanne Scott, CEO of FOX News Media. Starting at 7 PM/ET, FNC’s Laura Ingraham will kick off primetime with Jesse Watters taking over the 8 PM/ET timeslot followed by Sean Hannity who will remain at 9 PM/ET while Greg Gutfeld moves to 10 PM/ET. Nightly newscast FOX News @ Night with Trace Gallagher will air an hour earlier at 11 PM/ET.

In making the announcement, Scott said, “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. 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.”

Kicking off the network’s primetime programming at 7 PM/ET will be cable news’ highest-rated woman Laura Ingraham with her pivotal Washington, D.C. based show The Ingraham Angle. The program has been the top-rated show in the 10 PM/ET timeslot since it launched in 2017. Throughout her tenure with FNC, Ingraham has interviewed several notable political figures, including presidents, members of congress, and White House officials. She has hosted a series of highly rated town halls including Red State Trailblazers, Time for Class and Georgia and the Battle for Senate. 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.

Jesse Watters will move to 8PM/ET with his signature opinion program Jesse Watters Primetime. The show originally launched last year in the 7 PM/ET timeslot and earned the title of the fastest growing cable news program, crushing the competition across the board with 2.6 million viewers and 270,000 in the 25-54 demo year to date. Featuring Watters’ fresh take on the major headlines of the day while interviewing newsmakers from across the country, the show has been number one in its timeslot for the 18 months since it launched, delivering the highest-rated 7 PM/ET hour in cable news history. 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.

An iconic part of FNC’s primetime lineup since the network launched in 1996, Sean Hannity will remain in his 9 PM/ET timeslot with Hannity. In 2021, Hannity broke records as the longest-running primetime cable news host in history. Featuring his provocative style and high-profile interviews, Hannity has developed a unique connection with his audience, dominating the ratings for more than two decades. His eponymous program has ranked number one in its time slot with both viewers and in the 25-54 demo for 14 consecutive years since launching as a solo hour in January 2009, and his debut program Hannity & Colmes was number one for seven years prior. Notably, Hannity has consistently delivered over 2.4 million nightly viewers with 278,000 adults 25-54 year to date, ranking number one in the 9 PM/ET timeslot for the past 27 consecutive months. Throughout his tenure with the network, he has secured interviews with numerous key newsmakers and political figures, including most recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom for which he earned praise on both sides of the aisle.

FNC’s late-night program Gutfeld! hosted by Greg Gutfeld will move to 10 PM/ET. Launched in 2021, Gutfeld! delivered its most-watched year ever in 2022 and continues to upend the genre, becoming the first late-night show to unseat CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in viewers since 2017 while also besting ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Dubbed the “King of Late Night” by Newsweek, the program has been number one for 27 straight months, posting double digit gains in all categories with an average of 1.8 million viewers, 273,000 in A25-54 year to date. Notably, Gutfeld! has the highest median income in late night with those aged 25-54 and 18-49 and is the number one late night program with upscale viewers (100k+) in total viewers and the younger demo. In addition to hosting Gutfeld!, he is also a founding co-host of the number one cable news show, The Five.

FNC’s Trace Gallagher will close out the network’s primetime coverage at 11 PM/ET with newscast FOX News @ Night. Each night Gallagher covers major news events through that hour and serves as a primetime news hour for the Mountain and Pacific time zones as well as a sign off report for the east coast. An FNC original, Gallagher joined the network when it launched in 1996 and has covered some the biggest breaking news stories over the last 27 years.

FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service and has been the number one network in basic cable for the last seven years and the most-watched television news channel for more than 21 consecutive years, currently attracting nearly 50% of the cable news viewing audience according to Nielsen Media Research. Notably, Nielsen/MRI Fusion has consistently shown FNC to be the network of choice for more Democrat and Independent viewers, with the most politically diverse audience in cable news. Additionally, a 2021 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index report stated FOX News leads the news industry in both brand loyalty, engagement, and expectations while a 2022 Brand Keys poll showed FNC dominating morning and evening news in customer loyalty engagement. Owned by Fox Corporation, FNC is available in nearly 80 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape, routinely notching the top 10 programs.

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