Bill O’Reilly is out. Tucker Carlson is in. Fox News host, Tucker Carlson, will replace the ousted O’Reilly Monday night in the coveted 8 pm time slot. The decision came soon after 21st Century Fox announced that O’Reilly would not return to the network due to multiple sexual harassment allegations. Tucker Carlson began his show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” after former host, Megyn Kelly, quit Fox News. Carlson enjoyed a strong debut with 3.7 million views. His first show in O’Reilly’s former position will feature an interview with Caitlyn Jenner.
Tucker Carlson began his journalism career in 1993 at Little Rock’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette where he was an editorial writer. Eventually, he was hired by CNN but quit there after a heated argument with Jon Stewart on Crossfire in 2004. All eyes will be on this transition watching to see whether the Fox News viewers are loyal to particular anchors or the network at large. When Kelly left the network to join NBC, her audience did not leave with her. In fact, Carlson had even higher ratings in that 9 pm slot according to the New York Times. This is the 3rd time Carlson will replace a well known Fox host who left the network: Greta Van Susteren, Megyn Kelly and now Bill O’Reilly.
Carlson is known for booking guests who do not share the same values as Fox News. The debates generated in his show are often highly heated. Tucker has been criticized in the past for promoting “tone-deaf” views on gender and being dismissive of female guests. Although he is conservative, he disagreed with then-President Bush on the Iraq war, and he supported same-sex marriage even before it became the law of the land. It should be interesting to see how he handles the Jenner interview in this highly viewed first episode in O’Reilly’s two-decade-old slot.
What do you think about this move that Fox News has made? If you watched O’Reilly, will you now watch Carlson?