Perhaps just as significant as Laura Ingraham getting a prime time show on Fox News is Sean Hannity’s move back to his old 9 PM ET slot. That, of course, puts him directly opposite MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show which has been killing Fox in the ratings.
As The Observer nicely summed up, Hannity “generally chants the same authoritarian cadences every night and points his finger at ‘You, the American people’ while trying to make Donald Trump’s agenda sound rational.” He also discounts the Russia story as “fake news.” Maddow, on the other hand, does deep dives into the Russia-story weeds.
Lately, viewers have often been more interested in Maddow than in Hannity. But she'll have stiffer competition from a 9 PM Hannity. More from The Observer:
Judging by audience size, the viewers are increasingly turning to Maddow’s version of the truth. In total viewers, Maddow ratings (at 9 p.m.) have beaten Hannity’s (at 10 p.m.) in March, May, July and August, according to MSNBC, which says Maddow also leads him in September.
In the advertiser-friendly demographic of ages 25 to 54, Maddow has beaten Hannity every month since March—six straight—and leads in September, MSNBC said. Maddow also has defeated The Five [currently at 9 PM] in both measurements for the last four months.
But it will be harder for her to beat Hannity head-to-head in one of most-watched hours of the 24-hour news cycle. While Hannity’s network has a monopoly over easily-duped and fact-deprived Trump supporters, Maddow and MSNBC lose a section of the reality-based audience to CNN.
During his announcement about the schedule change, Hannity mocked Maddow’s gestures as he held a pair of black-framed glasses. But he was also clearly at least a little worried:
HANNITY: All my career, I’ve started out behind the eight ball. In the month of August, for example, we were number two in cable ‘cause, for some bizarre reason, conspiracy-theory TV is working right now. But, well, with your help, and if you help us spread the word, give us a little time, we’re planning on being number one, with your help.
It’s not clear if Hannity will be live again or continue to be pre-recorded.
Watch Hannity’s announcement below, from the September 18, 2017 Hannity show.