Fox News host Tucker Carlson will be promoted to the 9 p.m. time slot to replace outgoing host Megyn Kelly, according to a Thursday report on the Drudge Report.
Kelly announced Tuesday that after 12 years at Fox News, she had chosen to depart for NBC News. The move sent shockwaves through the cable-news industry, immediately prompting observers to speculate as to who would replace her.
Initial speculation led observers to believe the network would tap Trish Regan, Shannon Bream, Sandra Smith, or Kimberly Guilfoyle for the job. Conventional wisdom indicated that Fox News executives would look to appoint a female host for the role to offset an otherwise all-male prime-time lineup.
But Fox News chose to buck its tradition of having a female host in its primetime lineup, instead choosing Carlson for the post, according to the Drudge Report, which was subsequently echoed by other media reports.
Carlson was only recently given his own show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which airs weeknights at 7 p.m. But since he took over the hour from former host Greta Van Susteren, ratings have soared.
On the show’s inaugural night, 3.7 million viewers tuned in, making it Fox News’ most watched telecast of the year in the time slot. In its first month, Carlson posted double-digit increases from the previous year in the key 25-54 demo.
The decision to tap Carlson for the role also signalled that Fox News would continue in the mould of ousted Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes and assemble a strong primetime lineup of conservative personalities while President-elect Donald Trump resides in the White House.
A spokesperson for Fox News was not immediately available for comment. It was not clear who would take over for Carlson at the 7 p.m. hour.
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