Things are changing at Fox News Channel on October 7. That’s when the cable news network will celebrate the 17th anniversary of its launch — and also will have an almost all-new primetime lineup. Megyn Kelly is taking over Sean Hannity’s 9 PM slot with The Kelly File as Hannity moves to 10 PM. On the Record With Greta Van Susteren moves from 10 PM to 7 PM, taking over the Fox Report slot soon to be vacated by Shepard Smith, while ratings juggernaut The O’Reilly Factor stays at 8 PM. This is the first significant shift in FNC’s prime lineup in more than a decade — since Van Susteren debuted at 10 PM in 2002. “As the network continues to dominate with the top 13 programs in cable news, Fox News already redefined primetime viewing to extend well beyond the antiquated 8-11 PM format”, said FNC boss Roger Ailes in a statement today. “We’ve developed a deep bench of engaging and thought-provoking personalities that have grown with Fox News as it has evolved into the most influential and successful cable network in television. These changes will enable the network to continue setting the industry standard for years to come.” This is the latest of a series of changes at the cable news network that has seen Smith get a new show and new role, former The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck join morning show Fox & Friends and F&F’s Gretchen Carlson get her own daytime show.
Today’s news was not entirely out of the blue since notions of a move in FNC’s top-rated lineup have been expected since the July 2 announcement that Kelly would be moving to primetime once she returned from maternity leave this fall. On August 8, Ailes addressed rumors that the daytime America Live host would be getting Hannity’s 9 PM slot with an endorsement of both hosts and a promise that “all of our stars will be back.”