A new hour-long program “Jesse Watters Primetime” will take over the 7 p.m. Eastern/ ET timeslot on Fox News Channel, beginning on March 15th, according to a new announcement by Suzanne Scott, president of the FOX News Media group.
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“Jesse’s versatility and hosting acumen has grown exponentially over the last five years, and he has developed a deep connection to the audience through two hit shows The Five and Watters’ World. We look forward to watching him expand his connection even further through this new solo weeknight hour,” Scott said.
Watters, who co-hosts the popular weekend show “Watters’ World” and co-hosts the wildly successful “The Five,” will take over the “Fox News Primetime” slot that has been occupied by rotating guest hosts, ever since the network revamped its lineup last year.
As part of his commitment to “The Five,” Watters will remain co-host, and a new Saturday night program replacing “Watters’ World” will be announced later this year.
“Jesse Watters Primetime” will debut on Jan. 24.
“I’m thrilled to take on this new challenge and am grateful for the opportunity,” Watters said.
Watters returned to the network as a production assistant a year after joining and, a year later, he started appearing on-camera for “The O’Reilly Factor.” He rose to fame with his popular segments about people on the street. In 2017, he was named solo host of the Saturday night show for the first time in his career. Previously, he had been involved in investigative stories for the program.
In its entire history, “Watters’ World” was the most viewed program in its time slot, with an average of 1.9 million viewers. This made it the most watched program in cable news over the weekend.
With Watters joining “The Five” in April 2017, the show has maintained its prominence among cable news, consistently averaging 3.3 million viewers each quarter in the fourth quarter of 2021, and having become the first non-primetime show in cable news history to finish the entire quarter as the most-watched cable news program.
In 2021, “The Five” ranked second among cable news shows, averaging 2.9 million viewers, over CNN and MSNBC.
He received a bachelor of arts degree in history from Trinity College, and holds the No. 1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list with his latest book, “How I Saved the World.”
“Jesse’s versatility and hosting acumen has grown exponentially over the last five years, and he has developed a deep connection to the audience through two hit shows The Five and Watters’ World,” Suzanne Scott, the CEO of Fox News Media, said in a statement, The Hill reported. “We look forward to watching him expand his connection even further through this new solo weeknight hour.”
“I’m thrilled to take on this new challenge and am grateful for the opportunity,” he said.
As a member of a conservative grassroots group, Watters represented the conservative side of the conservative plate at an event for a conservative grassroots organization, where he suggested activists ambush Fauci and attack his credibility. Watters then generated headlines last month after Anthony Fauci, one of the nation’s leading infectious disease doctors, called for Fox to sack him for the comments he made.
The Fox network issued an official statement in response to Fauci’s remark in which it defended its own host: “Based on watching the full clip and reading the entire transcript, it’s more than clear that Jesse Watters was using a metaphor for asking hard-hitting questions to Dr. Fauci about gain-of-function research and his words have been twisted completely out of context.”
Fox announced in January that it would reshape its daytime news programming, and that it would potentially add the 7 p.m. hour to its slate of highly rated opinion shows.
Over the last year, “Fox News Primetime,” as the network has called its 7 p.m. show on an interim basis since moving Martha MacCallum to the 3 p.m. slot, has featured a rotating cast of hosts, contributors and network personalities.
The Daily Beast seems less enthusiastic about Watters’ promotion:
A year after Fox News booted “straight news” anchor Martha MacCallum from the 7 p.m. time slot during a shakeup of the weekday lineup, the network finally announced on Monday that Jesse Watters would permanently take over as host of the pivotal hour.
Fox News Primetime, which will now be named Jesse Watters Primetime, has been manned by a series of rotating (and competing) hosts over the past year. Besides Watters, the hour-long opinion talk show has been hosted by veteran Fox News personalities such as Maria Bartiromo and Brian Kilmeade, as well as lesser-known contributors like Tammy Bruce and Ben Domenech.
The network touted the ratings of both of those shows when announcing on Monday that Watters would now helm his own weeknight show, The Daily Beast reported.
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“Jesse’s versatility and hosting acumen has grown exponentially over the last five years, and he has developed a deep connection to the audience through two hit shows The Five and Watters’ World,” Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement. “We look forward to watching him expand his connection even further through this new solo weeknight hour.”
Fox News also noted that with his new weeknight duties, Watters would be giving up Watters’ World and that a new 8 p.m. Saturday show would be announced soon. Watters, however, will remain a co-host of The Five moving forward.
Throughout the 20 years that he worked for Fox News, Watters has frequently courted controversy. The sketch he did in Chinatown in 2016 that featured blatantly racist stereotypes of Asians sparked intense backlash and calls for his dismissal, prompting him to apologize. Leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently stated that Fox News’ Watters “should be fired on the spot” for urging Fox News viewers to attack him with a “kill shot” question.