At a major meeting with advertisers Wednesday executives from CNN unveiled their primetime lineup plans ahead of the 2024 presidential race, revealing a promotion for a Trump-favored host, Kaitlan Collins. And Fox News reportedly is moving Sean Hannity to what was Tucker Carlson's slot, while loading its primetime lineup with even more extreme hosts, according to one news outlet.
Over at CNN, where the decision to hold a Trump town hall last week, one day after the ex-president was held liable by a jury of sexual assault and defamation exploded in CEO Chris Licht's face, the now right-leaning network promoted that disastrous event's host to its 9 PM primetime slot.
"CNN has selected Kaitlan Collins to host a new weeknight show at 9 p.m., elevating her to one of the most coveted time slots in cable news a week after she moderated a contentious town hall with former President Donald J. Trump," The New York Times reported late Wednesday morning. "The new role for Ms. Collins was announced by CNN’s chairman, Chris Licht, on Wednesday, just ahead of a presentation to advertisers in Midtown Manhattan hosted by Warner Bros. Discovery, CNN’s parent company."
Calling it "Mr. Licht’s latest attempt to revive his network’s sagging ratings," The Times notes, "On weeknights, CNN lags behind Fox News and MSNBC, and on Friday, two days after the Trump town hall, it even lost to Newsmax, a fledgling conservative network that is available in fewer homes."
Collins' CNN Trump town hall was blasted by professional and armchair critics, with many pointing to her refusal to fact-check the ex-president's blatant lies about Democrats and abortion.
Since Warner Bros. Discovery became CNN's parent, numerous media critics, observers, and political activists have denounced the once-lauded news network's apparent decision to move to the right with some, like The Lincoln Project, claiming CNN is now fully supportive of Trump. As recently as Tuesday, right-wing media was "praising CNN’s misleading coverage of the Durham report," according to a media watchdog.
Many on social media have been pointing to Collins' résumé, which begins with her working for Tucker Carlson's far-right wing website The Daily Caller. Some posted old video of Collins, working at The Daily Caller in a Fox News segment, and, as one "political junkie" put it, "spreading George Soros conspiracy theories."
Meanwhile, The Drudge Report's top headline says over at Fox News, Sean Hannity – once dubbed Trump's Shadow Chief of Staff by his own White House insiders – will take over the 8 PM slot until recently held by Tucker Carlson, although Fox News has denied this claim.
In typical Drudge style, it reads: "FOXNEWS preparing to announce ambitious new schedule, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, a schedule where every hour of primetime will change!" and, "TOP SOURCE: 'IT'S OUR BOLDEST AND MOST FEARLESS LINE-UP EVER'... DEVELOPING..."
Drudge adds that Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld, two of the network's more extreme hosts, will also get primetime slots.
Mediate reports: "Watters currently hosts one of Fox’s top-rated shows at 7 p.m. while Gutfeld hosts a highly-rated late-night show at 11 p.m. — both co-host Fox’s top-rated program The Five at 5 p.m. Hannity, meanwhile, broke the record for longest-running cable news prime time host in April of 2022, eclipsing Larry King at 25 years, six months, and 15 days."
But Mediate also reports Fox News is denying any plans have been set: “No decision has been made on a new primetime line-up and there are multiple scenarios under consideration,” a Fox New spokesperson told the news outlet.
Variety observes, "There would also be a question about Laura Ingraham, who has led Fox’s 10 p.m. hour since launching her program, 'The Ingraham Angle,' in the fall of 2017."
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