The Fox News Channel prime-time landscape following Megyn Kelly‘s departure has solidified into a three-hour block helmed by Trump-friendly hosts, with Tucker Carlson‘s Tucker Carlson Tonight, an early ratings hit, moving into the 9 p.m. ET spot that follows Bill O’Reilly and precedes Sean Hannity.
New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman describes the decision as driven both by business (a move to keep rating up and advertising dollars flowing) and by proximity to power, born out of, according to Sherman, “[Rupert] Murdoch’s longtime desire to have a relationship with an American president”:
Carlson’s promotion is one sign of just how much Murdoch wants to appease Trump, Fox insiders say. Murdoch has been intent on forging a tight relationship with Trump since his victory, sources close to both men tell me. One longtime Murdoch confidante told me the two speak by phone at least three times per week. As I reported Tuesday, at Mar-a-Lago over the holidays Trump criticized Roger Ailes and lavished praise on Murdoch.
Meanwhile, Martha MacCallum, co-anchor of America’s Newsroom, gets Carlson’s former 7 p.m. spot, which had just premiered in November. MacCallum’s show, called The First 100 Days, will examine the early days of the Trump presidency.
“Martha is a versatile and skilled anchor who has proven to be an essential component of our news programming. For the last 12 years, our viewers have trusted her reporting and we are pleased she will be part of our primetime line-up for the first 100 days of the new presidency,” said Fox News chairman Rupert Murdoch in a statement.