Fox News is poised for another big primetime shakeup


laura ingraham
Conservative
pundit Laura Ingraham at the Republican National Convention in
2016.

AP Photo/J. Scott
Applewhite


Fox News is poised to shift its primetime lineup again following
the suspension of a top personality who is accused of sexually
harassing colleagues.

“Fox News Specialists” host Eric Bolling
was suspended
earlier this month following allegations that
he sent unsolicited photos of male genitalia to colleagues at Fox
Business Network and Fox News.

The suspension sparked questions about the future of
“Specialists” and whether Fox would take steps to bolster the 5
p.m. time slot, and late on Monday, CNN’s Brian Stelter reported
that conservative pundit Laura Ingraham was set t0 join Fox News’
primetime lineup.

Earlier Monday, Drudge Report founder Matt Drudge, who has
repeatedly broken major news about the Fox News lineup over the
past year, alluded to Ingraham’s potential spot in primetime.

It remains unclear what time a show with Ingraham would air,
though rumors have swirled within the network about several
potential scenarios.

Two sources familiar with the situation told Business Insider the
lineup was up in the air but many suspected “The Five” would move
back to its old 5 p.m. slot, bumping “Fox News Specialists” and
making way for Ingraham to occupy the 9 p.m. slot, where “The
Five” moved earlier this year. Ingraham’s show could also air at
10 p.m., moving host Sean Hannity into the 9 p.m. slot.

The lineup changes remain in flux in part because of Bolling’s
uncertain future at the company.

Though cohosts Eboni Williams and Kat Timpf were regulars on “Fox
News Specialists,” Bolling was the most familiar face on the show
to many viewers. He had served as a host on “The Five” and also
hosted his own weekend show and filled in for other primetime Fox
shows.

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An outside law firm retained by 21st Century Fox last year to
look into harassment at Fox News is investigating the claims
against Bolling.

A shake-up would be the third major shift in Fox News’ primetime
lineup in a year.

In January, Tucker Carlson replaced the 9 p.m. show hosted by
Megyn Kelly, who left for NBC. Then the lineup shifted again in
April after Bill O’Reilly left amid sexual-harassment
allegations, bumping Carlson into O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. slot and
moving “The Five” to 9 p.m. from 5 p.m.

In a testament to the loyalty of Fox News’ audience, the
network’s ratings largely haven’t reflected any significant
turbulence, though they have dipped across the board compared
with last summer.

Carlson still hasn’t managed to match O’Reilly’s numbers,
averaging 2.2 million nightly viewers in July compared with
O’Reilly’s 3.1 million in the same month last year during the
highly watched Democratic National Convention and Republican
National Conventions. But Carlson’s numbers barely dipped in the
second quarter of 2017 compared with 2016, and Hannity’s ratings
were far higher in the second quarter of 2017 compared with 2016.

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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