The fallout from the canceling of Tucker Carlson’s 8pm Fox News program continues. Last month, the Drudge Report published what it called a “world exclusive” scoop on an “ambitious” new primetime lineup for the floundering network that would reportedly see two hosts move into the coveted time slots. As it turns out, the report was at least partially correct.
On Monday’s show, Megyn was joined by Glenn Greenwald, host of Rumble’s System Update, to discuss the new primetime lineup and what it will mean for the suffering ratings.
The New Fox News Primetime Lineup
Beginning July 17, Fox News confirmed it will premiere a new primetime lineup. Laura Ingraham’s The Ingraham Angle will move from 10pm to 7pm. Jesse Watters’ Jesse Watters Primetime takes over the 8pm slot previously occupied by Tucker Carlson Tonight. Sean Hannity stays put at 9pm, and Gutfeld! will now air an hour earlier at 10pm. Finally, Fox News @ Night hosted by Trace Gallagher bumps from midnight to 11pm.
The Drudge reporting proved prescient when it came to predicting Watters and Gulfeld would get primetime nods (the term generally refers to programs that air in 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm hours). Hannity, however, did not move to 8pm as predicted.
The new lineup is seemingly a full circle moment for Watters. “It is kind of interesting because he used to be Bill O’Reilly’s producer running around doing confrontational videos when O’Reilly hosted the 8pm,” Megyn noted. “This is them saying they think Jesse Waters is the solution to winning back their audience that they lost when Tucker left.”
What Fox News Is Missing Without Tucker Carlson
Greenwald is a regular on many of the Fox News programs that are being reshuffled. While he likes all of the hosts, he doesn’t believe any of them can capture what Carlson did because of the state of the GOP. “There is a significant ideological split within the Republican Party unlike anything in the Democratic Party that Donald Trump first exposed when he ran against Bush-Cheney foreign policy and even Reagan economics,” Greenwald explained. “Tucker spent at least half of his show, if not more, not attacking Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer but attacking the GOP establishment.”
In his view, the establishment wing of the Republican party “celebrated” when Fox News and Carlson parted ways. “They talked about how difficult he was making their life because they want to support the war in Ukraine; they want to support tax breaks for corporations,” he shared. “Tucker started representing this populous strain of the ideology that the Murdochs most definitely do not support, and they removed somebody who was popular – in part because he’s so good at television – but also because he was espousing a different kind of ideology than Republican and conservative audiences are accustomed to hearing and that was obviously a big part of his appeal.”
Greenwald doesn’t see anyone in the revamped primetime lineup picking up that torch. “There is nobody else doing that over there,” he said. “Jesse and Laura are both kind of opposed to the war in Ukraine but nowhere near the level that Tucker was articulating this alternative vision for what conservative politics should be that aligns more with Trump than any other politician.”
Can the Fox News Ratings Recover?
The short answer is no. “They are rearranging the deck chairs – that’s what’s happening,” Megyn said. “It’s going down, and it’s been going down for a long time.” Both Megyn and Greenwald agreed that there is no ‘replacing’ Carlson. “They took a massive risk in getting rid of their one unique draw,” she noted. “He’s just a unique voice in the American conversation, and his message resonated with people and continues to.”
Additionally, it’s unlikely the audience will forget how the network treated and continues to treat Carlson. “Fox’s audience feels very betrayed not just that Tucker was booted off but was so unceremoniously and disrespectfully booted off,” Greenwald said. “I think a lot of people lost faith in Fox News as an institution and that faith isn’t coming back no matter who you put there.”
To make matters worse for Fox News, many former viewers are discovering a new kind of media. “The audience fled and it hasn’t come back – some went to Newsmax, the rest went online,” Megyn explained. “They’ve discovered a new medium and a new way of taking in the news, which was already a massive threat to Fox and even more so now.” Shuffling a few shows around isn’t going to change that. “Moving Jesse to eight is not going to do it,” she concluded. “Good luck to them.”
You can check out Megyn’s full conversation with Greenwald by tuning in to episode 575 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.