Fox News announced Monday that network anchor Jesse Watters will become the permanent host of the 7 p.m. ET timeslot under the title of "Jesse Watters Primetime."
Watters will continue to co-host the hit 5 p.m. daily program, "The Five," but will no longer host his Saturday evening show, "Watters' World." The new program will launch on January 24.
"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," Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement.
Fox News' 7 p.m. timeslot, which has featured rotating hosts for "Fox News Primetime," has been open since the network shook up its programming in early 2021.
"I’m thrilled to take on this new challenge and am grateful for the opportunity," Watters said.
Watters, a graduate of Trinity College, joined Fox News in 2002 as a production assistant and made his first on-camera appearance the following year as a correspondent for "The O’Reilly Factor."
And in 2017, Watters was given the Saturday night 8 p.m. ET slot for "Watters' World," which was the highest-rated program in its timeslot for its entire history with an average viewership of 1.9 million.
Later that same year, he was named co-host of "The Five" alongside Greg Gutfeld, Dana Perino and two other rotating hosts. Averaging nearly 3.3 million viewers during the fourth quarter of 2021, the program became the first non-primetime show in cable news history to finish an entire quarter as the most-watched show in cable news.
Watters, also the author of The New York Times number one bestseller "How I Saved the World," made headlines last month after White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci called on Fox to terminate the anchor for comments made during a Turning Point USA event. In his remarks, Watters urged attendees of the event to "ambush" Fauci with a "kill shot," referring to confronting the doctor with questions about how he "funded risky research at a sloppy Chinese lab."
Fox later defended Watters' comments after Fauci said the company should fire him.
"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," the company said in a statement.
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