Fox News is getting desperate in their effort to halt Rachel Maddow’s ratings winning streak, which is why they are moving Sean Hannity to 9 PM.
CNN reported that Fox has hired Laura Ingraham to host a show at 10 PM, and Hannity is moving to 9:
Her new show will be part of a broader change to the network’s top-rated prime time lineup. Sean Hannity’s show, currently at 10 p.m., will move one hour earlier to 9 p.m., multiple sources confirmed.
“The Five” mostly held its own at 9 p.m., but Fox has been losing to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow at that hour, causing no small amount of consternation behind the scenes.
The Hannity/Maddow face off at 9 PM contains an interesting dynamic. Hannity hosts the most pro-Trump show on cable news. In fact, Hannity is as close to official White House propaganda as one will get on US television. Rachel Maddow’s ratings have skyrocketed on MSNBC due to her consistent and deep coverage of the Trump/Russia scandal. Maddow show is the opposite of Trump. It is thoughtful, factual, and not afraid to take a deep dive into a topic.
With Trump’s approval ratings stuck in the mid-thirties, Rachel Maddow’s show has more potential viewership upside than any Trump programming could ever hope for. There is also the issue of why Hannity was moved out of the 9 PM timeslot in the first place. In 2013, Hannity lost 30%-40% of Bill O’Reilly’s 8 PM audience every night. Hannity also suffered a 35% ratings drop earlier in 2013 before he was moved to 10 PM.
Hannity has his loyal audience of 2 millionish viewers, and they will show up, but at best Fox will be competitive with Maddow. At worst, the Hannity move will completely backfire and push even more viewers to Maddow. Fox News moved Hannity to 9 PM to stop Rachel Maddow’s momentum, but they may only end up making her show stronger because Sean Hannity isn’t an answer, he is a last hope.