Updated Jun 26, 2023, 1:00pm EDT
mediaNorth America

Fox replaces Tucker Carlson with Jesse Watters

Tucker Carlson
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Sign up for Semafor Media: Media’s essential read. Read it now.

Title icon

The News

Fox News has tapped conservative commentator Jesse Watters to take over Tucker Carlson’s 8 p.m. primetime show slot, the network announced Monday.

The move comes more than two months after Fox abruptly fired its most popular host following a series of controversies that got executives worried about Carlson becoming too much of a liability.

Title icon

Know More

Starting off Fox’s primetime will be Laura Ingraham, whose show has been moved from 10 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET.

Sean Hannity will stay on at 9 p.m. while comedian Greg Gutfeld’s show will move from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. News anchor Trace Gallagher will take over the 11 p.m. slot.

“The unique perspectives of Laura Ingraham, Jesse Watters, Sean Hannity, and Greg Gutfeld will ensure our viewers have access to unrivaled coverage from our best-in-class team for years to come,” Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement.

Watters will continue to serve as a panelist on Fox’s “The Five” before primetime hour.

Title icon

Step Back

Watters started off his career as a production assistant at Fox, later appearing on The O'Reilly Factor where he developed a reputation for "ambush-style" man-on-the street interviews.

While on O'Reilly, Watters apologized for a segment where he mocked people in Manhattan's Chinatown about cultural stereotypes. Still, the 44-year-old host became a rising star at the network and among conservative figures.

Fox had a massive dip in viewership following Carlson's dismissal, and the two are subsequently engaged in a legal battle over his contract after he signed a deal with Twitter to host his show on the social media platform.

The New York Times previously reported that Fox News executives became alarmed over Carlson's increasingly radical views after his internal communications were revealed during the Dominion defamation case.