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Are major changes coming to Fox News prime time?

Lots of rumors are flying around about Fox News, including one that prime-time host Laura Ingraham could, at the very least, be taken out of prime time.

It started Wednesday when the Drudge Report claimed that it had the big scoop. It said Sean Hannity would move from 9 p.m. to 8 p.m. Then, Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld would head to prime time. Currently, Watters is doing well in a 7 p.m. slot and Gutfeld hosts a comedy-style show at 11 p.m. Watters also is a part of the highly-rated “The Five” at 5 p.m.

But then you quickly realized that there was a name missing: Laura Ingraham, who hosts a show at 10 p.m.

In response, Fox News didn’t deny or confirm anything. In a statement, it said, “No decision has been made on a new primetime line-up and there are multiple scenarios under consideration.”

Later, perhaps responding to social media rumors that Ingraham might be out at Fox News, the network put out another statement saying, “Reports based on various tweets by left wing activists are wildly inaccurate — Laura Ingraham, the top-rated woman in cable news, is now and will continue to be a prominent host and integral part of the Fox News lineup.”

This is all about trying to permanently replace Tucker Carlson, who was fired last month.

Let’s say it is Hannity, Watters and Gutfeld. That’s three middle-aged white guys controlling prime time. Think Fox News viewers are going to be OK with that? (That’s a rhetorical question.)

There are also reasons why Fox wouldn’t go with this lineup. Why move Watters and Gutfeld out of spots where they are currently doing well? And Ingraham remains a popular host in her 10 p.m. slot.

Still, social media was buzzing with rumors that Ingraham, who has been hosting “The Ingraham Angle” since 2017, might get taken out of prime time and maybe even get booted from the network. To be clear, no legitimate news outlets were reporting that Ingraham was leaving. And you also have Fox News’ strong statement saying Ingraham would remain a part of Fox’s lineup, although the word “prime-time” was not included in that statement.

Fox News ratings are down in Carlson’s old 8 p.m. slot and the network probably will want to make a move sooner rather than later to get the ratings to rebound. Under this rumored scenario, Hannity would be Carlson’s replacement in the 8 p.m. slot.

If you think Fox News learned any lessons after the lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems — a suit that ended with Fox writing a check for $787.5 million — you might want to think again.

Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch said he thought Fox ultimately would have won the case against Dominion, but that network leaders decided to settle to avoid the distraction of a trial.

Speaking at MoffettNathanson’s inaugural Technology, Media and Telecom Conference on Wednesday, Murdoch said, “Ultimately, it was a difficult decision, but the right decision, because I don’t believe Fox News or any our hosts engaged in any defamation during the whole period, but it was the right business decision.”

So there you have it. Murdoch still doesn’t think Fox did anything wrong.

Murdoch went on to compare covering Donald Trump’s allegations of a rigged 2020 election as being no different than CNN’s recent town hall with Trump, where the former president continued making false claims about the election. He, perhaps sarcastically, wondered if CNN would be sued.

“I haven’t seen a lawsuit yet,” Murdoch said. “Maybe there’s one coming, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.”

Murdoch added, “Last week, we can look at it factually, CNN had a town hall with the former president where he made a lot of allegations about the (2020) election. … If you believe that it was newsworthy to have a former president, also a candidate for the next presidential election, if you believe that was newsworthy in 2023, well certainly it was newsworthy in 2020 to report on similar allegations.”

A couple things about that. For starters, yes, Trump repeatedly made false claims during the CNN town hall that the 2020 election was rigged. However, he never mentioned Dominion Voting Systems.

But, more notably, Trump’s claims during the town hall were met with constant pushback from moderator Kaitlan Collins. Such claims from Trump’s camp on Fox News after the 2020 election were often not challenged.

So for Murdoch to compare the CNN town hall to the allegations made by Dominion in its lawsuit against Fox News is way off base.

Murdoch also addressed the firing of Carlson and what it could mean going forward for Fox. In the short term, ratings are down in Carlson’s old time slot.

Murdoch said, “We’ve done it before, right? You know, Bill O’Reilly was a superstar. Megyn Kelly was a superstar. Glenn Beck was a superstar, and we’re able to move forward with programming decisions that ultimately result in long-term growth and profitability of the business.”

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, shown here in December 2022. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

It’s official: Kaitlan Collins will get her own show in prime time on CNN. The network announced Wednesday that Collins will host a show at 9 p.m. Eastern starting in June.

This is not surprising. For the past couple of weeks there have been reports that Collins was going to get the prime-time gig.

But it would have been surprising if you said just a year or two ago that Collins, now 31, would end up hosting one of the most coveted pieces of real estate in cable television. Her meteoric rise has taken her from White House correspondent to co-hosting a revamped morning show to now hosting the time slot once occupied by Chris Cuomo. CNN hasn’t had a permanent host in that spot since firing Cuomo in December 2021.

Until now. Collins, fresh off mostly positive reviews for her attempts as moderator to salvage an otherwise heavily panned Donald Trump town hall, gets a shot at trying to help CNN crawl out of a ratings slumber.

In a note to staff, CNN big boss Chris Licht said, “She is a smart and gifted journalist who we’ve all seen hold lawmakers and newsmakers accountable. She pushes politicians off their talking points, gets real answers — and as everyone who’s worked with her knows — breaks a lot of news. Every night, she’ll bring fresh reporting that adds new perspective to the biggest stories of the day. Kaitlan will expose uncovered angles and challenge conventional wisdom to make sure viewers are seeing a story from every side. When she doesn’t know the answer, she asks — and she won’t stop until she gets them.”

Licht’s statement and the naming of Collins to this slot — arguably Licht’s biggest move since taking over CNN — would seem to indicate a show with an emphasis on reporting and interviewing. The “seeing a story from every side” line in Licht’s memo also would further indicate Licht’s desire for CNN to be more down-the-middle, as well as less reliant on punditry and, especially, commentary.

It was only last November that CNN launched its new morning show “CNN This Morning” with co-hosts Kaitlan Collins, Don Lemon and Poppy Harlow. Lemon was fired in April and Collins is now off to do a prime-time show, leaving Harlow as the lone original host left.

Licht said in his memo Wednesday that Collins will transition off the morning show and that Harlow will continue hosting “CNN This Morning” with a rotation of guest anchors.

Licht wrote, “We will have more information and announcements to share in the months ahead but in the meantime CTM is in good hands with Poppy.”

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

The New York Times introduced a new product for its subscribers. It’s The New York Times Audio, an app that, essentially, curates all of the Times’ audio journalism in one place. The Times describes it as its “audio front page.”

The Times said, “Listeners will find podcasts hosted by our reporters, dispatches from our correspondents around the globe, cooking advice from our recipe authors and much, much more.” That would include shows such as its signature podcast “The Daily,” as well as “The Ezra Klein Show” and others.

In addition, the app will gather:

  • “The Headlines,” a new show lasting under 10 minutes, where Times reporters discuss three of the biggest stories of the day.
  • Short pieces from culture and lifestyles reporters.
  • “Reporter Reads,” where reporters describe how they found their stories and what surprised them during their reporting, then read the stories out loud.
  • Sports podcasts from The Athletic, which is owned by the Times.
  • An archived collection of the podcast “This American Life.”
  • Magazine journalism from top publishers beyond the Times, read by professional narrators.

Vanity Fair’s Charlotte Klein wrote about this in “‘How do we get every second of your day?’ The New York Times goes all in on a new podcast app.”

Klein wrote that it’s a “weird time to get into the podcast app business.”

She added, “I’ve been playing around on the app the past few days, and it does, at risk of sounding too woo-woo, feel like diving into the Times universe. On Tuesday, I hit play on the playlist curated each weekday morning and was taken from the day’s ‘Headlines,’ on bank collapses and the war in Ukraine, to ‘The Daily,’ where Mexico bureau chief Natalie Kitroeff was reporting from the southern border on the day Title 42 ended, to a “reporter reads,” in which publishing reporter Alexandra Alter read a piece she cowrote with Elizabeth Harris about an author who was asked by Scholastic to delete references to racism from her book, to a short by ‘This American Life.’”

Klein concluded, “At the very least, the NYT Audio app felt like a smoother experience than Apple’s much-derided podcast app. It felt, too, like a huge investment incongruous with the state of the audio industry — one perhaps only the Times is in the position to make right now.”

Recode’s Peter Kafka tweeted, “I don’t understand the strategy for this, at all. It’s built for people who love NYT podcasts (check) but who don’t want to listen to podcasts made by anyone else (what?).”

He added, “To be clear: I know why NYT execs would prefer you listen to NYT pods on an NYT platform. I don’t know why NYT pod listeners — who by definition are already listening to NYT pods on another platform — would switch over. Even if you really, really like the NYT platform experience, you will still have to go back to your old platform (Apple or Spotify) to listen to NYT pods. And, again, NYT will keep its pods on other platforms, since they reach a much bigger audience.”

Kafka wrote, “I’m sure there are some NYT audio superfans who will switch over. I can’t imagine there are enough to justify the time and money spent on this.”

We shall see.

Have feedback or a tip? Email Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones at

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