Fox News has struggled mightily in the wake of the sudden departure of primetime host and ratings legend Tucker Carlson.
The outlet is seemingly so desperate to reset after the massive drop in overall ratings that it's set to shake up its primetime lineup in a monumental way, according to a scoop obtained this week by the Drudge Report.
Mediaite reported on the bombshell news, announcing that Sean Hannity would be gifted Carlson's old slot, which was the hottest time slot in all of television, consistently.
“FOXNEWS is preparing to announce an ambitious new schedule, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, a schedule where ever hour of primetime will change!” Drudge reported. “TOP SOURCE TELLS DRUDGE: ‘IT’S OUR BOLDEST AND MOST FEARLESS LINE-UP EVER’…”
BREAKING: According to Drudge, Fox News will move Sean Hannity to 8pm ET to replace Tucker, followed by Jesse Watters at 9pm, and Greg Gutfeld at 10pm. There is no indication on the network's plans for Laura Ingraham and Trace Gallagher.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) May 17, 2023
It was also revealed that two of the network's most popular hosts, Greg Gutfeld and Jesse Watters, are set to have their shows moved into primetime slots.
Fox News responded to the shocking news, saying, "No decision has been made on a new primetime line-up and there are multiple scenarios under consideration."
Fox News is learning that millions of viewers primarily tuned in for Carlson's former show, which is now hosted by a series of rotating Fox News hosts. The effort to regain traction in the time slot, so far, has proven to be a losing proposition.
Many have said that Hannity, who fell out of popularity with a large chunk of the conservative base, was only staying afloat and enjoying solid ratings due to leakover from Carlson's hour. In other words, because people simply left on their televisions after finishing watching Carlson.
Mediate noted data that may have proven that theory, as Hannity was recently beaten in his time slot by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, which never would have happened while Carlson was at the network.
MSNBC on Monday beat Fox News in prime time in both total viewers and in the key 25-54 age demographic favored by advertisers. Rachel Maddow beat Hannity at 9 p.m. on Monday and helped boost MSNBC to 1.86 million average prime time viewers and 188,000 prime time demo viewers. Fox came in a close second with 1.72 million prime time viewers and 174,000 prime time demo viewers.
If Hannity ends up in Carlson's former time slot, Fox will apparently have to learn yet another difficult lesson as to how detached from its viewing audience it seems to be. Many Twitter users made clear that such a move doesn't seem well thought out.
"Sean Hannity is the worst. What a terrible decision," one Twitter user wrote.
Another Twitter user added: "I haven't watched Fox in years and Hannity was one of the main reasons I quit. Cable news is so irrelevant. A bunch of opinionated partisans, squawking nonstop, pretending to be actual journalists."
Only time will tell if Fox News moves Hannity to the slot and what the outcome will be. While Hannity might enjoy a slight boost in his ratings, relatively speaking, he'll likely never regain Carlson's record-smashing numbers, and that's a massive problem for Fox brass.