The Fox News Channel has made no determination as to the future of its prime-time schedule, and is still considering the best way to appoint a successor to the 8 p.m. time slot vacated by former commentator Tucker Carlson after he was terminated last month.
The affirmation came in a statement following an unfounded report published by the Drudge Report that claimed executives at Fox News Media were going to elevate another prominent commentator, Sean Hannity, to the 8 p.m. hour.
“No decision has been made on a new prime-time line-up, and there are multiple scenarios under consideration,” a Fox News Media spokesperson told The Desk on Wednesday.
The Drudge Report claim was purportedly based on unnamed sources who promised a “shake-up” at the network, which has since been refuted in part by executives there. The change-up would have reportedly seen two other Fox News personalities, Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfield, move to prime-time, while leaving the future of Laura Ingraham’s show up in the air.
One person at Fox News Media confirmed that schedule change was “being tossed around” internally, but that executives were “not strongly considering it.” The person asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak publicly on behalf of the company.
On a conference call with investors last week, Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch argued that the news network was not considering a broad diversion from its programming or schedule anytime soon.
“There’s no change to our programming strategy at Fox News,” Murdoch affirmed. “It’s obviously a successful strategy.”
The comments were in response to numerous questions by investors about the company’s recent $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, which sued Fox News Media over unfounded, election-related claims floated on some Fox News programs. Dominion became involved in the conspiracy when some on-air talent and guests suggested its voting machines were part of a broader trend of purported election-related fraud tied to the 2020 presidential election.
The case resulted with the public disclosure of unflattering text messages and emails sent between Fox News Media executives, producers and on-air talent that proved the election-related fraud claims involving Dominion were not accurate.
Carlson became caught up in a separate scandal at Fox News Media when records unearthed in the Dominion case showed him disparaging Fox News Media executives and making other controversial comments. Carlson and Fox News parted ways in mid-April.