As expected. A friend in media e-mailed me after this post to say that he’d heard through the grapevine that it would be Hannity at 7, then O’Reilly, Kelly, and Greta in her familiar 10 p.m. slot. C’mon. No overtly conservative/Republican programming on FNC between the hours of 8 and 11? I realize they’re trying to be “newsier” than the competition by putting Kelly up against Maddow, but they can’t shed their partisan brand completely.
Hannity goes to 10 p.m., Greta replaces Shep before O’Reilly. She’s excited about it, too:
Just think how fun and exciting it is for our OTR staff and me to redesign a show after 11 1/2 years to meet a new time slot audience appetite ! Since I heard the great news from Roger my mind has been racing with ideas. We also have been looking at new designs for a new studio — I hope you will like the new look.
Ok, I confess, there is a part of me that does think it will be fun to get home early by 9pm each night! I won’t have to dodge the late night drunks on DC streets…or eat all my meals at the vending machine in the break room (but I may miss those Cheetos and DOTS! but perhaps that can be lunch?)
Hannity also mentioned being able to leave work earlier as a reason he’s happy with the shift: “The ability to be live or on tape greatly increases the flexibility of the show and offers me, after 17 years, the opportunity to be home at night with my family.” That’s one of the reasons, I guess, that they created the new “breaking news” division for Shep Smith. If Hannity’s going to tape his show more often, they’ll need someone around to go live when something happens somewhere after 10 p.m. ET. Enter Shep, whose staff “confirmed” on Twitter last night that gunshots had been fired outside the White House before walking it back. Just working out the kinks on the “breaking news” machine before it goes live, I guess.
In other news, the new line-up does not include moving “Red Eye” from the 3 a.m. dungeon to 11 p.m. ET to do battle with other networks’ late-night fare, even though the show tops allegedly influential programs like “Morning Joe” in the 25-54 demo despite its gigantic time-slot disadvantage. If you want to know why, here’s a ratings comparison from a night in July. Not only did the 11 p.m. repeat of O’Reilly top all other cable news networks’ primetime programs in total viewers, it actually improved considerably on Greta’s lead-in in that same 25-54 demo. Lots of west-coast O’Reilly fans out there, it seems. Too bad for Gutfeld, Andy Levy, and company, though, who deserve a shot at a bigger audience.
Update: Wow. In 17 years, this is just the fifth time Fox has tweaked its primetime line-up. And if you exclude Colmes leaving Hannity’s show four years ago, it’s the first since 2002. Belated exit question: When does Shannon Bream get her own show?