Amidst the departure of a top-tier host, Fox News navigates the challenge of retaining viewership and considers potential replacements to fill the void.
Faithful viewers of Fox News are scrambling to reevaluate their allegiance. Fox News executives, in an attempt to stymie the exodus, have unveiled a temporary placeholder for the gaping hole left by Tucker Carlson.
Trey Gowdy, the former South Carolina Republican congressman who has secured his own following with a successful weekend program, is set to take the reins for the upcoming week. Gowdy, whose “Sunday Night in America With Trey Gowdy” has been a ratings magnet, drawing in over a million viewers each weekend, outpacing the viewership of liberal networks MSNBC and CNN in the same slot, by twice as much.
Indeed, even as MSNBC features the likes of Jen Psaki, and CNN Newsroom holds court on their network, Gowdy’s show has managed to outshine them both, according to the Washington Examiner. The post-Carlson era has witnessed a rotating cast of hosts including Brian Kilmeade, Lawrence Jones, Kayleigh McEnany, and Will Cain.
Earlier in the week, The Drudge Report hinted at a seismic shift in the Fox News lineup, with the anticipated announcement of a significant reshuffle following Carlson’s exit. As per Matt Drudge’s report, the speculation is that Sean Hannity, a veteran of the network, is slated to fill the 8 p.m. time slot.
Drudge’s headline teased the alleged new schedule, also hinting at potential prime time roles for Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld. Watters and Gutfeld, who co-host the highly-rated program ‘The Five’, also have their own successful shows at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. respectively. Meanwhile, Hannity broke the record for the longest-running cable news prime time host in April 2022, surpassing Larry King‘s previous record.
According to Drudge, Fox News is gearing up to announce a new schedule, declaring, “TOP SOURCE TELLS DRUDGE: ‘IT’S OUR BOLDEST AND MOST FEARLESS LINE-UP EVER’…” However, a Fox News spokesperson clarified to Mediaite, “No decision has been made on a new primetime line-up and there are multiple scenarios under consideration.”
As the speculation around the successor for Carlson’s slot continues to whirl, Mediaite recently published a piece presenting a lineup of potential contenders for the highly sought-after 8 PM slot. The speculation included the possibility of reshuffling the slots of current hosts such as Watters, Ingraham, or Hannity.
Their suggested list of potential replacements ranged from Greg Gutfeld, a host on “The Five” and his late-night comedy show “Gutfeld!”, to Tulsi Gabbard, the former Democratic lawmaker and 2020 presidential candidate. Others on the list included former Trump administration press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, veteran Fox News host Brian Kilmeade, and Fox News co-host and contributor Pete Hegseth.
The news of Carlson’s firing sent shockwaves through social media, with reports stating that Carlson was “blindsided” by a phone call from CEO Suzanne Scott informing him of his termination. This came even as Carlson had been in the throes of negotiating a new contract to stay with the network until 2029, as reported by the Independent.
This dramatic turn of events occurs amidst a backdrop of legal turmoil for Fox News, with a recent settlement of a lawsuit with Dominion, costing them a hefty $787 million. Another lawsuit by former Fox News booker Abby Grossberg remains ongoing. The road ahead for Fox News is indeed fraught with uncertainties, but they’re hell-bent on maintaining their stronghold in the media landscape.