In its efforts to win back the conservative audience it lost during the 2020 Election cycle, while still appearing “fair and balanced” with some moderate Republican offerings, Fox News has created two weekend shows for long-time Fox News contributor Dan Bongino, and prosecutor and former South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy.
Fox News announced that conservative network contributors Dan Bongino and Trey Gowdy would now be hosting their own weekend programs https://t.co/WhV90pbClF
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 12, 2021
Fox News announced on Wednesday that conservative network contributors Dan Bongino and Trey Gowdy would now be hosting their own weekend programs. The network also said that a couple of weekend panel shows that had been temporary replacements would now be permanently added to the schedule.
Beginning in early June, Bongino will headline a primetime show on Saturday evening, permanently replacing The Greg Gutfeld Show at 10 p.m. ET. (Gutfeld is now hosting a late-night “comedy” show on weeknights.) Fox News also announced that its online streaming service Fox Nation will livestream the pro-Trump commentator’s daily Westwood One three-hour radio show, which key Cumulus stations recently moved to Rush Limbaugh’s old 12-3 p.m. ET time slot.
Gowdy, a former Republican congressman who joined Fox News in 2019, will now host a live Sunday news show at 7 p.m. ET, also scheduled to debut in early June. The ex-lawmaker was recently given a tryout in Fox News Primetime, a weeknight opinion show that debuted in January and still hasn’t settled on a permanent host.
Despite ratings wins with the usual stalwarts of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity, and The Ingraham Angle, Fox News had been struggling following the election in November of 2020 and into the early part of 2021 to regain its conservative loyalty, as well as its ratings dominance. January 2021 was its worst month for ratings:
Let’s start with this: January was a news month like we’ve rarely seen. There was the horrific event of the Capitol riot on Jan 6. There was the second impeachment of Donald Trump. And there was the inauguration of a new president, Joe Biden.
Events like these certainly are going to have eyes turning to cable news. In this case, CNN benefitted.
Fox News did not.
However, since then, FNC has seen its ratings rebound and, in fact, had a solid April, and is back to number one across the board.
Bongino is an established and popular conservative with a loyal following. The fact that Bongino has been, and remains unapologetically pro-Trump, also strengthens his conservative and MAGA credentials. Gowdy does not have the MAGA credentials, but he is viewed as a solid “Republican” commentator and will be bring added cache to the new Fox News Primetime, which he hosts periodically.