UPDATE: Fox News issued another statement to address potential changes to its primetime schedule, this time on the status of Laura Ingraham.
A network spokesperson said, “Reports based on various tweets by left wing activists are wildly inaccurate — Laura Ingraham, the top-rated woman in cable news, is now and will continue to be a prominent host and integral part of the Fox News lineup.”
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The latest Fox News statement does not address whether she will remain in her 10 p.m. ET time period, but the network statement is a pushback on social media rumors that she is exiting.
The speculation about Ingraham started after the Drudge Report, in its main headline, reported that Fox News was about to overhaul its primetime line up, with Hannity leading the 8 p.m. hour and shows hosted by Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld taking the later slots. That left the question of what would happen to Ingraham.
Earlier in the day, the network said that “no decision has been made on a new primetime line-up and there are multiple scenarios under consideration.” After the network dropped Tucker Carlson’s 8 p.m. show last month, a series of rotating hosts has filled the time slot under the banner Fox News Tonight, with the expectation that a permanent occupant would be named.
Ingraham has hosted The Ingraham Angle since 2017.
Fox News has seen a viewership dip in primetime with the loss of Carlson, but the network’s lineup of Fox News Tonight, Hannity and Ingraham have still generally topped rivals in total audience. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show did beat Hannity on Monday and but Maddow’s show is on just once a week.
PREVIOUSLY: Fox News said that it is considering changes to its primetime lineup following the exit of Tucker Carlson, but it suggested that a report that Sean Hannity would fill the slot was premature.
“No decision has been made on a new primetime line-up and there are multiple scenarios under consideration,” a network spokesperson said.
The statement came after Drudge Report blared out a main headline that Hannity was being prepared to take over the time slot, with Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld also being prepared for primetime slots. Where that leaves Laura Ingraham’s show, which airs at 10 p.m., is unclear.
Before he was dropped by the network last month, Carlson was the most watched cable news host in primetime, averaging 3.25 million total viewers in March, the last full month of his show.
Fox News has slotted Fox News Tonight in the time period with a rotating series of hosts, including Brian Kilmeade, Lawrence Jones, Kayleigh McEnany and Will Cain. While they have generally won the time period, the gap has narrowed considerably with the closest rival in the slot, MSNBC’s All in with Chris Hayes. The loss of Carlson appears to have had an audience impact on the show it led into, Hannity, at 9 p.m. ET. The show has generally won its time slot, too, but on Monday, The Rachel Maddow Show beat it, helping MSNBC garner a rare primetime win. The caveat: Maddow’s show airs just once a week, with Alex Wagner filling the rest of the week.
Watters and Gutfeld have been two of the network’s breakout personalities since they launched their shows, replacing newscasts in their time periods. Watters airs at 7 p.m. ET and Gutfeld at 11 p.m. They both are also regulars on The Five, the top rated program in cable news, at 5 p.m.
At the MoffettNathanson conference on Wednesday, Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch touted the network’s ability to maintain a top ratings position despite the loss of major personalities, including Glenn Beck, Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly. He did not address the circumstances of Carlson’s exit, and declined to talk about Fox News’ programming decisions.
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