Tucker Carlson: Fox News Names Jesse Watters to replace star anchor
Fox News has reported that long-term network personality Jesse Watters will replace ousted star, Tucker Carlson.
The departure of Carlson, the most-watched cable news host in US history, has led to a downturn in the channel’s primetime ratings.
Watters, 44, joined the organization as a production assistant in 2002 and has anchored the 19:00 EDT (23:00 GMT) timeslot since the start of this year.
Fox News said in April that it was parting ways with Carlson.
The declaration came less than seven days after the network settled a defamation lawsuit from the voting machine company Dominion over coverage of 2020 presidential
The $787.5m (£619m) settlement narrowly averted a potentially embarrassing trial for Fox and one at which Carlson was expected to be called to testify.
Carlson, 54, has since launched a new show he presents twice weekly on Twitter. Its first episode, on 6 June, has racked up nearly 120 million views.
Tucker Carlson Tonight drew upwards of three million daily viewers, regularly topping its cable competitors in the 20:00 hour.
Earlier this month, Fox sent Carlson a cease-and-desist letter, arguing that his new show was a breach of contract as he is still being paid by the network until the end of 2024.
Since his show was taken off the air, a series of rotating hosts – including Watters – has anchored the timeslot, drawing roughly half of Carlson’s audience.
Earlier in June, the network briefly lost its 120-week streak at the top of the primetime ratings to liberal rival MSNBC, although it has since reclaimed the spot.
Watters, best known for his man-on-the-street interviews in New York City, is co-host of the popular roundtable show The Five.
His installment in Carlson’s old timeslot comes amid a broader shake-up in the channel’s nightly line-up.
Laura Ingraham, who hosts The Ingraham Angle, is moving to the 19:00 hour, while popular late-night host Greg Gutfeld will take over at 22:00, the network announced on Monday.
Sean Hannity, a primetime Fox anchor for more than two decades, will see his show remain in the 21:00 slot, the network said.