Jones, 30, will take over as the next temporary host of the rebranded ‘Fox News Tonight’ starting on Monday, following Brian Kilmeade’s weeklong stint as Carlson’s replacement, a network spokesperson told DailyMail.com on Saturday.
Since January 2022, Jones has hosted a weekend primetime show on the network, ‘Lawrence Jones Cross Country’, making him the youngest black solo host of a cable news show in history.
The self-avowed libertarian also spends much of the week as a roving reporter for Fox & Friends, traveling the country to cover major news events.
Meanwhile, conservative news outlet Newsmax is making a major push to woo Carlson, even floating the possibility that he could run programming for the entire channel, and not just his own show, sources told TMZ.
Rising Fox News star Lawrence Jones (left) has been tapped as the next rotating replacement for fired anchor Tucker Carlson’s (right) 8pm weekday spot
Carlson has been cryptic about his plans in remarks this week to DailyMail.com, and a video statement posted on Twitter, and is currently barred from formal job negotiations due to his Fox News contract.
While Newsmax hasn’t made any formal job offer, execs at the channel have been peppering Carlson’s confidants with informal proposals that he could take a leading role in rebranding the channel and overseeing programming, according to TMZ.
The Newsmax website has also spent much of the week publishing stories bashing Fox News and fawning over Carlson, with a banner headline on Saturday morning, citing a poll, reading: ‘Tucker Carlson More Popular Than Fox News.’
Carlson, 53, reportedly made up to $20 million annually at Fox News as the channel’s highest-rated primetime host.
In the wake of Carlson’s April 24 firing, ratings shot up for Newsmax’s Eric Bolling, who hosts a show in the same 8pm Eastern slot as Carlson’s former show.
For example, Bolling had 510,000 viewers Wednesday night, compared to 168,000 on the prior Wednesday, Nielsen said. On Tuesday, Bolling had 562,000 viewers, up from 122,000 the same day a week earlier.
Still, those numbers are a fraction of the viewership Fox News typically draws in primetime. Even following a slump with Carlson’s departure, the network’s 8pm slot drew 1.33 million viewers on Wednesday, with Kilmeade hosting.
Since January 2022, Jones has hosted a weekend primetime show on the network, ‘Lawrence Jones Cross Country’, making him the youngest black solo host of a cable news show
Fox News cut ties with Tucker Carlson after controversies including the costly Dominion lawsuit and his recent reporting about the January 6 riots
The challenge for Newsmax will be making it last. In the wake of the 2020 election, Newsmax also saw a ratings bump as it refused to acknowledge Joe Biden’s presidential election win.
But following Biden’s inauguration, Newsmax viewership slipped and Fox News surged once again.
Meanwhile One America Network, another right-wing news channel, has also made overtures to Carlson.
Founder and CEO Robert Herring ‘would like to extend an invitation to Carlson to meet for negotiation to become a part of the OAN team’, according to a report about Carlson’s departure on the OAN website.
As the biggest name in cable news, Carlson is unlikely to head anywhere that can’t pay a huge salary – or offer the massive reach that he’s used to.
In a different vein, fledgling cable news network NewsNation, which bills itself as the politically moderate channel, is keen to recruit both Carlson and fired CNN anchor Don Lemon, according to TMZ.
Both would likely get salaries far below what they recently earned (Lemon apparently made $7 million per year at CNN) if they joined the network.
NewsNation has form for hiring anchors who’ve left major networks under a cloud.
The network signed up Chris Cuomo in October 2022 after he was fired by CNN, and Cuomo’s show regularly features guest appearances from Bill O’Reilly, the former Fox News host.
NewsNation would not comment on the Carlson rumor when approached by DailyMail.com earlier this week.
Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch (pictured), recently reached a $787 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, which sued for defamation, claiming hosts like Carlson pushed Donald Trump’s false election fraud claims
Fox News has seen primetime ratings slump since Carlson’s departure, although on Thursday night his old 8pm slot secured 1.46 million viewers, defeating both CNN and MSNBC.
Carlson had 2.65 million viewers on April 21, for what he didn’t know at the time would be his last show on Fox.
He was fired on Monday with no explanation given publicly, although there are no shortage of theories about the split.
On Wednesday, Carlson posted a video on Twitter shortly after 8pm Eastern, the time his Fox show used to begin, that talked about a lack of honest political debate in the media.
Carlson said one of the things he noticed, ‘when you step away from the noise for a few days,’ is how nice some people are, and how hilarious some are.
‘The other thing you notice when you take a little time off is how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are,’ he said.
‘They’re completely irrelevant. They mean nothing. In five years we won’t even remember we heard them. Trust me, as somebody who participated.’