Fox News announced on Monday that Jesse Watters, a well-known host, and political commentator, would be taking over the coveted 8 p.m. timeslot, which was left vacant after the departure of Tucker Carlson in late April. The network’s new primetime schedule includes Laura Ingraham at 7 p.m., Sean Hannity at 9 p.m., Greg Gutfeld at 10 p.m., and Trace Gallagher hosting the news hour at 11 p.m.
Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott expressed her excitement about the new lineup, stating, “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.”
Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News came as a surprise to many, including his own staff, who reportedly learned about it through an email sent by Carlson himself. Fox News had recently settled a lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems, in which Carlson was expected to testify if the case had gone forward. Following Carlson’s exit, the stock of Fox Corporation, the parent company of Fox News Channel, experienced a significant decline of $1 billion.
In the first quarter of 2023, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” held the distinction of being the highest-rated program in cable news among the younger 25-54 demographic. The show averaged an impressive 3.2 million viewers, with 443,000 in the key demographic and 299,000 in the 18-49 category. Other popular Fox News programs during that period included “The Five” with an average of 3,058,000 viewers, “Jesse Watters Primetime” with 2,670,000 viewers, “Hannity” with 2,505,000 viewers, and “Special Report with Bret Baier” with 2,200,000 viewers.
Jesse Watters, who joined Fox News in 2002, gained recognition for his on-the-ground interviews as a correspondent for “The O’Reilly Factor.” In 2017, he became the host of “Watters’ World” on Saturday nights and was also selected as a co-host of the highly-rated program “The Five.”
Breaking News: Tucker Carlson’s old 8 p.m. time slot on Fox News will be filled by Jesse Watters. Fox’s prime time ratings fell off by roughly one-third since the network took Carlson off the air after having consistently been the highest in cable news. https://t.co/11pe13itNf pic.twitter.com/pWu5NP9fjJ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 26, 2023