OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Rumors and speculation are rife this week following reports that Fox News is about to make its “boldest and most fearless line-up ever.”
The Drudge Report broke major news on Wednesday that Sean Hannity will take over Tucker Carlson’s old 8 PM ET timeslot. Jesse Watters, host of “Jesse Watters Primetime” will move from 7 PM ET to 9 PM ET. Greg Gutfeld’s “The Greg Gutfeld Show” will be moved from 11 PM to 10 PM.
“If that new plan were to take place, that means Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle” would lose its 10 PM time slot to Gutfeld. So where does she go? 11 PM ET? Maybe 7 PM ET?
Fox News released a statement that ran counter to the reports spreading online, saying, “No decision has been made on a new primetime line-up and there are multiple scenarios under consideration.”
Interestingly enough, Fox News issued another statement on the rumors of Ingraham, adding, “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.”
The statement from Fox News only denies the rumors that Ingraham will be leaving the network. It did not actually address whether or not she will keep her 10 PM timeslot.
The rumors about Ingraham began after news aggregator Matt Drudge shared a scoop detailing how Fox News will make a big shake-up following Tucker Carlson’s departure from the network.
“WORLD EXCLUSIVE: FOXNEWS SETS NEW SCHEDULE” read the headline from Drudge.
“Watters currently hosts one of Fox’s top-rated shows at 7 p.m. while Gutfeld hosts a highly-rated late-night show at 11 p.m. — both co-host Fox’s top-rated program The Five at 5 p.m. Hannity, meanwhile, broke the record for longest-running cable news prime time host in April of 2022, eclipsing Larry King at 25 years, six months, and 15 days,” Mediaite reported.
“FOXNEWS is preparing to announce an ambitious new schedule, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, a schedule where every hour of primetime will change!” Drudge reported. “TOP SOURCE TELLS DRUDGE: ‘IT’S OUR BOLDEST AND MOST FEARLESS LINE-UP EVER’…”
All of this began in late April when Fox News announced that it had parted ways with Carlson.
Reports surfaced earlier this week that shed more light on why Fox decided to take its biggest star off the air late last month.
According to a report by RadarOnline.com, Tucker Carlson was told by network brass he was being let go as part of Fox News’ massive $787.5 million defamation settlement with Dominion Voting Systems.
“In the latest development to come three weeks after Carlson was removed from his role at the network on April 24, it has been reported that one of Fox Corp.’s eight board members was the one to tell the fired host that his ‘recent benching’ was the result of the secret condition in the Dominion settlement,” the outlet reported.
The report continued: “According to Variety, the conversation between Carlson and the board member took place on April 26 – two days after the network announced Carlson’s involuntary departure from the company. The board member also reportedly told Carlson that the secret condition ensuring Carlson’s canning would not be found in any of the $787.5 million defamation settlement documents because it was a verbal agreement.”
If the network did not agree to those terms, then Dominion’s attorneys said the firm was prepared to call off the settlement and restart negotiations or take the case to trial, RadarOnline.com noted.
“That condition was intended to hurt Fox, and Tucker is just collateral damage,” a source familiar with the reported secret agreement told Variety. “Dominion wanted to punish Fox, and it’s working.”
But RadarOnline.com added that officials with the voting systems firm denied any secret arrangement had been made. “As the Fox principals who negotiated the settlement well know, Dominion made no demands about Tucker Carlson’s employment orally or in writing,” Dominion said in a statement to the outlet.
“Any claims otherwise are categorically false and a thinly veiled effort to further damage Dominion,” the firm noted further. “Fox should take every effort to stop these lies immediately.”