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Fox News anchor Sean Hannity and Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earnhardt have put the rumors to rest and are a couple.
According to a report from The Daily Mail on Wednesday, there have been rumors the two popular hosts have been dating for a few years and that Ainsley films her show some days from Hannity’s house, where he has his own studio for his shows.
“They are extremely happy together and have been for a while. It’s not a surprise to anyone who knows them, but they’re very private people and prefer to keep their personal life private and lowkey. They started out as best friends and the relationship evolved over time. He’s a generous and kind guy and she is just an incredibly wonderful person,” a source close to the couple told the Daily Mail.
“They’re a really sweet couple with so much love for each other. Sean adores Ainsley’s daughter Hayden. Ainsley and Sean are genuine, lovely people who are both truly beloved at Fox News, so everyone at the network has been happy for them for a while. Sean was there for Ainsley through her mother’s illness last fall (she died in October 2022) and was by her side picking up all the pieces – she leaned on him during some extraordinarily difficult times,” the outlet added.
Fox News appears to be rebounding after suffering a loss of more than a million viewers per day following the network’s decision in April to take star host Tucker Carlson off the air.
The network revamped its prime-time lineup, handing Carlson’s old slot to Jesse Watters while moving Laura Ingraham to an earlier slot along with Greg Gutfeld and keeping Sean Hannity at 9 p.m. where he’s been for decades.
According to the current cable news TV ratings, the decisions appear to be paying off: Both Watters and Gutfeld are dominating their slots over rivals at MSNBC and CNN, and it’s not close as Fox, in general, begins to retake the offensive the cable news wars.
Watters ended July with the top two rated shows on cable news in terms of total viewers: “The Five” and “Jesse Watters Prime Time.” Gutfeld, meanwhile, came in third place overall with his show Gutfeld! at 10 p.m. bringing in 1.983 million total viewers; he is also a co-host of “The Five.”
Last month, Fox reclaimed its previous position as the top-rated network on cable television, leading in both primetime and total day viewership. In the 25-54 demographic for total day viewership, it ranked second, with ESPN holding the top position.
The network also maintained its dominance for 29 consecutive months in both total day and primetime total viewership, outperforming its competitors. In primetime viewership, Fox News came close to surpassing the combined viewership of CNN and MSNBC.
A press release from Fox said:
FNC’s 5 PM/ET roundtable program The Five which has been number one in viewership for seven consecutive quarters, continued its streak with both categories, securing 2,591,000 viewers and 254,000 with A25-54. Evening newscast Special Report with Bret Baier (weeknights, 6 PM/ET) averaged 1,743,000 million viewers and 164,000 in the 25-54 demo.
FNC’s new weekday primetime lineup which debuted on Monday, July 17th, beat the cable news competition across the board with viewers and the younger A25-54 demo. From 7-11 PM/ET, FNC averaged 2,160,000 viewers and 211,000 in A25-54, sweeping CNN and MSNBC in all categories, winning combined in total viewers and more than tripling CNN in overall viewership.
Finishing the month as the highest-rated primetime lineup in all of cable, FNC is the only cable network to average over 1.5 million viewers in primetime. Notably, the new primetime lineup increased FNC’s share of the cable news audience versus the prior month from 41% to 48% in total viewers and from 34% to 42% with A25-54.
Kicking off the new lineup at 7 PM/ET, The Ingraham Angle garnered 1,926,000 million viewers and 174,000 in the 25-54 demo, continuing host Laura Ingraham’s streak as the most-watched woman in cable news.
Following at 8 PM/ET, Jesse Watters Primetime garnered 2,403,000 viewers and 207,000 with A25-54, making it the highest-rated program in primetime viewers and second overall behind only The Five. The program grew the timeslot nearly 50% versus the prior month and posted double and triple digit advantages over the competition on CNN and MSNBC.
FNC’s Hannity which remained at 9 PM/ET scored 2,161,000 viewers, 201,000 in the 25-54 demo, achieving the third most-watched program in all categories, outpacing the competition on MSNBC and CNN combined with total viewers.
Comparatively, CNN’s newly launched The Source with Kaitlan Collins averaged just 558,000 viewers and 109,000 with A25-54 at 9 PM/ET.
Total Viewers: The Five (2,591,000), Jesse Watters Primetime (2,403,000), Hannity (2,161,000), Gutfeld! (1,983,000), The Ingraham Angle (1,926,000)
Adults 25-54: The Five (254,000), Gutfeld! (252,000), Jesse Watters Primetime (207,000), Hannity (201,000), The Ingraham Angle (174,000)
Meanwhile, several recent reports have said that a handful of current Fox News talent have contemplated jumping ship and joining Carlson in a new media venture.
Carlson has launched “Tucker on Twitter” much to the chagrin of his former Fox bosses, and has already posted more than a dozen monologues. This week, he posted interviews featuring former Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer.
“Carlson’s Twitter move could have additional reverberations with talent at the network. A handful of Fox anchors have reached out to Carlson directly or had their surrogates contact him to say they are eager to join whatever venture he starts on Twitter when their contracts are up, according to sources,” Media Post noted last month.