OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Without question, the Fox News Channel has led the cable news industry for years, growing exponentially in viewership through then-President Donald Trump’s term and beyond, with its program lineup dominating the top 10 and even top 20 shows on the air.
That included the network’s weekend programming as well, where shows regularly garnered over a million viewers, far more than rivals CNN, MSNBC, and, of late, Newsmax TV.
But after the network inexplicably took its top host, Tucker Carlson, off the air in late April, viewership numbers have been in a free-fall, causing Fox management to consider line-up changes and show cancellations.
The latest casualty is Steve Hilton, whose Sunday show at the 9 p.m. time slot has now been canceled as well.
According to Mediate, he is leaving to dedicate himself full-time to what the network described as a “new California non-partisan policy organization launching next week.” Hilton plans to remain with the network as a contributor.
Mediaite noted further:
In light of those departures, Fox announced a new lineup starting this weekend. The network is getting rid of The Big Saturday and Sunday Show to make way for The Big Weekend Show (talk about streamlining) which will air at 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. A new program called Fox News Saturday Night will air at 10 p.m. on, you guessed it, Saturday night.
Mediaite also learned that the changes extend to one tweak in weekday programming: Fox & Friends First, the network’s 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. show, will be shrinking to just one hour, starting at 5 a.m. Congratulations to Carly Shimkus and Todd Piro on the extra hour of much needed sleep.
Dan Bongino also recently left the network, leaving a Saturday evening slot open, but it wasn’t because Fox took him off the air, he says.
During a wide-ranging interview last month on “The Megyn Kelly Show,” Bongino spoke about his departure in late April, which left many confused, given it came around the same that Fox cut ties with top-rated host Carlson. Bongino said he left the network over a difference in vision for his show.
“I think a lot of people think this may be some kind of anti-Trump thing. I gotta say — that wasn’t my case,” Bongino said.
“I was not targeted. My show, they were dying to re-up — we negotiated for an entire year. So I can’t tell you like, ‘Oh, Fox got rid of me,’ because they didn’t. The liberal jerk wads are gonna go, ‘Oh Dan Bongino was fired.’ I just give them the middle fingers. It’s just stupid,” Bongino said.
“I negotiate my own deals. I don’t have an agent. I do my own business deals. I don’t need any, I do my own business. They wanted the show. I just had a different vision for my role at the network and that’s okay. I’m not the Saturday guy, Megyn, I’m sorry I can’t work six days a week. I’ve got young kids and I’m not working six days a week. And even though we recorded the show on Friday, you know, the inside baseball of Fox, what happens when there’s breaking news? Which with Trump out there is all the time — you gotta be on,” Bongino concluded.
Mediaite also reported that Fox has let go of Laura Ingle, who has been with the network since 2005.
Meanwhile, Fox Business is canceling the long-running show “Kennedy,” which airs at the 7 p.m. EDT slot, and will instead, for now, air reruns of former Trump administration economist Larry Kudlow, according to Broadcasting & Cable.
The report said that Lisa Kennedy Montgomery will remain at Fox News, where she will be a recurring figure on “The Five,” “Outnumbered,” and other shows.
“Fridays are also seeing a change at Fox Business, with Wall Street Journal at Large with Gerry Baker no longer in the 7:30 p.m. slot, and Barron’s Roundtable moving into that slot,” the report added.