NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel is shuffling its prime-time lineup for the first time in more than a decade, adding a show with Megyn Kelly and giving Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren new time slots.
Fox had already announced that Kelly, a daytime star out on maternity leave, would return with a prime-time show but wouldn’t say when it would air. On Tuesday, Fox said that her new show, “The Kelly File,” would displace Hannity at 9 p.m. Eastern and move him to 10. Van Susteren, whose show currently airs at 10 p.m., will be switched to 7 p.m.
Fox News’ lineup has been remarkably stable. With the exception of Hannity dropping his former liberal partner, Alan Colmes, the lineup has been the same since 2002 after Van Susteren moved over from CNN. Fox News usually beats its cable news rivals in the ratings by a large margin in prime time.
The changes will take effect on Oct. 7, the 17th anniversary of the Fox News Channel’s launch.
“These changes will enable the network to continue setting the industry standard for years to come,” said Roger Ailes, the network’s chairman and CEO.
Fox announced last week that it is ending Shepard Smith’s 7 p.m. Eastern newscast. Instead, Smith will give breaking news reports throughout the day and evening for Fox.
Van Susteren’s move takes her out of the traditional television prime-time of 8 to 11 p.m. She had said earlier this year that her new contract with Fox had guaranteed her a prime-time slot, but Ailes said Tuesday that it is an “antiquated” view to consider prime time in cable news to be those three hours.
Van Susteren agreed, and pronounced herself delighted by the move. It will enable her and her staff to try new things and will be physically easier, making for shorter days.
“I only have to use my headlights for half a year,” she said.
Hannity said that he’s happy to make the move, saying that the ability to pre-tape his program “greatly increases the flexibility of the show and offers me, after 17 years, the opportunity to be home at night with my family.”
Left untouched on the schedule is Bill O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. ET time slot. He has long had the top-rated program in cable news.