It was a long time coming, but Fox News favorite Jesse Watters, who co-hosts the mega-popular The Five, just landed in the big leagues at the highly-rated cable news network.
According to the network, on Monday Watters was named the permanent host of Fox’s 7 p.m. time slot, currently called Fox News Primetime. FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott made the announcement, and said Watters will steer the hour-long slot under its new name, Jesse Watters Primetime.
Watters also hosts a weekend program called Watters’ World, which extended the segments he used to do for former anchor Bill O’Reilly, which were wildly popular with Fox News’ viewership.
The current show, Fox News Primetime, has been on a rotating host schedule, with some of the network’s up-and-coming stars getting a shot. Many believe the rotating hosts was essentially a try-out period to see which host drew the most ratings.
Watters has remained a fan favorite of the network’s viewers for years, especially having been mentored by O’Reilly, who was the biggest ratings-getter for Fox for a long time until his sudden departure in 2017 after he found himself embroiled in sexual harassment lawsuits.
“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,” CEO Scott said.
She added: “We look forward to watching him expand his connection even further through this new solo weeknight hour.”
Watters’ new gig will premier on Jan. 24, the network said. He’ll reportedly still co-host The Five, but his weekend show, which is often a slot for up-and-coming network personalities, will be replaced with something new.
The Fox News host set aside his endearingly confident attitude and expressed gratitude for being named the permanent host for the time slot, which tends to rank high in the ratings.
“I’m thrilled to take on this new challenge and am grateful for the opportunity,” Watters said.
Many Fox News viewers probably aren’t aware that Watters has been at the network for nearly 20 years, first being hired in 2002 as a production assistant, when the network was still in its early stages of development. Watters would go on to rise to popularity through O’Reilly’s tutelage as a correspondent on his show.
There’s no doubt that Fox picked a winner in choosing Watters for the slot, as he’s not afraid to say what needs to be said, and never pulls punches. His only downfall? He roots for the Philadelphia Eagles.