Fox News Spokesperson Responds to Laura Ingraham Rumors

Fox News Spokesperson Responds to Laura Ingraham Rumors
Talk show host Laura Ingraham speaks during CPAC 2019 in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 28, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Fox News responded to online rumors this week claiming that it would part ways with host Laura Ingraham amid rumors that the network would be changing its primetime lineup in the wake of Tucker Carlson’s exit.

A spokesperson for Fox told The Epoch Times that “reports based on various tweets by left wing activists are wildly inaccurate” and that “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.” The representative did not make reference to any specific rumors or whether they were posted.

It came after the Drudge Report, a formerly conservative-leaning website that critics say has shifted politically to the left in recent years, claimed that Fox hosts Greg Gutfeld and Jesse Watters will be joining the primetime lineup. Sean Hannity would be taking Carlson’s old 8 p.m. ET timeslot, the report said, although it did not cite any sources for the claims.

In response to those rumors, “No decision has been made on a new primetime line-up and there are multiple scenarios under consideration,” said the network.

Neither Ingraham, Watters, Hannity, nor Gutfeld publicly responded to Drudge’s story, which was posted on the front page of the website on Wednesday afternoon.

After Carlson’s departure, which Fox News confirmed in a brief news release issued in late April, a replacement show called “Fox News Tonight” hasn’t performed as well as Carlson’s old program. The show routinely draws fewer than 1.5 million viewers each night, whereas Carlson drew more than 3.2 million viewers on average through all of March 2023.

Fox News said it would use a rotating cast of hosts for “Fox News Tonight,” including Brian Kilmeade, Kayleigh McEnany, Lawrence Jones, and now Will Cain. It’s not clear who the next host will be or how long that program will last.

After the change, Hannity’s and Ingraham’s shows have respectively seen a decline in overall viewership. But “The Five,” which airs at 5 p.m. ET, hasn’t seen a noticeable drop in viewership since Carlson left, according to Nielsen ratings.

Both Watters and Gutfeld have been two breakout personalities for Fox News since they launched their respective shows, replacing newscasts in their timeslots. Gutfeld’s other show airs at 11 p.m., while Watters’ program airs at 7 p.m. Both are regular hosts on “The Five,” which airs at 5 p.m. and is one of the highest-rated cable news programs.

Murdoch Speaks

One of Fox Corporation’s executives, Lachlan Murdoch, appeared to defend his company’s decision to remove Carlson and insisted that Fox executives’ strategic vision for the network is a sound one. However, when asked about more details regarding Carlson’s exit at a conference this week, Murdoch demurred.

NTD Photo
News Corp. Exeuctive Chairman Rupert Murdoch, (C) with his sons, Lachlan, (L) and James in Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 11, 2014. (Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP Images)

“I’m not going to go into programming decisions at Fox News, short of saying that all of our programming decisions are made with the long-term interest of the Fox News brand and the Fox News business at heart,” said Murdoch, the son of Fox Corporation and NewsCorp mogul Rupert Murdoch.

“So we make those decisions really thinking broadly, or long term, in terms of what is the best thing for the company in the long term,” Murdoch said Wednesday at the SVB MoffettNathanson conference, according to multiple news reports.

During the event and amid questions about the channel’s recent dip in ratings,  Murdoch reportedly did not appear concerned. He said that Fox continues to defeat the other cable news networks like MSNBC and CNN in the respective timeslots.

“And we’ve done it before, right?” he said. “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 the long-term growth and profitability of the business. So that’s number one,” he said, referring to the three former Fox hosts who left the network in recent years.

Murdoch also suggested that advertisements may have played a role in Carlson’s exit.

“From an advertising point of view, the whole business is incredibly strong, including still at 8 o’clock, and we’re seeing advertising, if anything, strengthen at FOX news rather than weaken,” said Murdoch, who did not mention Carlson by name or offer any more details about why the two parties split.

As for Carlson, the former host said that he is planning to host a new Twitter-based show that would be similar to the one that he hosted on Fox News. But details about the program, including when or how long it would last, were not provided.

Interest in the show and Carlson remain high. His video drew more than 120 million impressions and tens of millions of views, becoming the No. 1  Twitter post for that week.

“Twitter has long served as the place where our national conversation incubates and develops,” Carlson said in the clip, adding that corporate news outlets are “thinly disguised propaganda outlets.” He added:  “You see it on cable news, you talk about it on Twitter.”

“The result may feel like a debate, but actually the gatekeepers are still in charge,” he said. “We think that’s a bad system. We know exactly how it works and we’re sick of it.”

From The Epoch Times

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