Fox News has named Philadelphia native Jesse Watters the new host of its 7 p.m. hour, rebranding the show Jesse Watters Primetime. The new show will begin Jan. 24.

Watters, who grew up in Germantown and East Falls, has worked for Fox News since 2002, moving up through the ranks from a production assistant to gaining fame for combative man-on-the-street interviews for former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

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Watters will also continue to co-host The Five for Fox News, which airs at 5 p.m., but he’ll give up hosting his Saturday evening show Watters’ World. The network said a new program will be announced at a later date.

“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,” Suzanne Scott, chief executive of Fox News Media, said in a statement.

The 7 p.m. hour on Fox News had seen a rotating series of guest hosts since January 2021, when a schedule reshuffling moved news anchor Martha McCallum’s The Story to 3 p.m., a less-viewed time slot. The network also pushed back Shannon Bream’s news show to midnight, leaving its most-watched primetime hours occupied by opinion hosts like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity.

“Jesse Watters is a logical choice for Fox’s 7 p.m. time slot – the evening schedule is now full of flame throwers – from Watters through to Greg Gutfeld,” CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter wrote on Twitter.

Watters — an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump — has promoted false theories about the 2020 election and was forced to walk back his praise of QAnon, a group of conspiracy theorists who believe Democrats and Hollywood celebrities are engaged in human trafficking and child abuse.

“I work at Fox. I wanna see disarray on the left. It’s good for America. It’s good for our ratings,” Watters said last week on The Five.

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The move by Fox News comes weeks after Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called on Watters to be fired after he used violent language while telling a crowd of conservatives to ambush President Joe Biden’s top COVID-19 adviser in public and send the footage to his network. Fauci and his family have received death threats over his role as a public health official during the pandemic.

Fox News defended Watters and said his words were taken out of context.

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