After weeks of rotating hosts in the 7 p.m. ET time slot, Fox News announced that Jesse Watters will be the permanent host of “Fox News Primetime” — soon to be called “Jesse Watters Primetime.”
According to the network, Watters will remain a regular co-host on panel show — and ratings juggernaut — “The Five.” A new show to replace Watters’ 8 pm Saturday show “Watters’ World” will be announced in the coming weeks.
NEWS: Fox News Names Jesse Watters Permanent Host of 7 pm Hourhttps://t.co/wDeflVCirW
— Bobby Burack (@burackbobby_) January 10, 2022
Outkick’s Bobby Burack wrote that Watters was a solid choice early on in the search for a permanent host:
When Fox News announced in January that in-house personalities would try out for a new 7 pm opinion show known now as Fox News Primetime, Jesse Watters was one of the few names I listed as a logical candidate. And just last week, Watters hosted the program for the first time.
Between June 28 and July 2, Watters averaged 1.78 million as host of FNP (the show averaged 1.56 million overall in the second quarter of 2021). Not only did Watters draw higher average viewership, but with him as host, FNP topped its lead-in, Special Report, all five days in the coveted 25-54 demographic.
TV ratings are not usually cut and dry. That is particularly true of a show with numerous rotating hosts. However, after just one week, viewers made it clear they’d watch a daily 7 pm show with Jesse Watters.
Fox News appears to have agreed with Burack, and Watters — who began as a production assistant in 2002 and soon became a regular on former Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Factor” — earned the spot.
FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott explained, “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.”
According to Fox News:
Watters joined the network in 2002 as a production assistant and made his on-camera debut a year later as a correspondent for “The O’Reilly Factor,” where he rose to fame with his popular man-on-the street segments. He also worked on investigative stories for the program and was named solo host of the Saturday night program in 2017.
“Watters’ World” was the most-watched program in its timeslot throughout its history, averaging 1.9 million viewers to make it the most popular weekend program in cable news.
“I’m thrilled to take on this new challenge and am grateful for the opportunity,” Watters said on Monday, and a number of his colleagues took to Twitter to congratulate him.
“Congrats! @JesseBWatters will knock it out of the park,” said “Fox & Friends” weekend host Will Cain.
The Hill media and political columnist Joe Concha added, “Congrats to Jesse! He’ll stay on The Five but will end the 8pm Saturday show. Read up on the Watters career trajectory path sometime. Not exactly by the book and shows hard work and authenticity go a long way.”
“Congratulations @JesseBWatters! See you on @TheFive later!” Katie Pavlich added.