Waiting for Megyn Kelly? Thursday Fox News Channel Senior VP of Programming Bill Shine announced that FNC will temporarily replace the Glenn Beck Show this summer with The Five. According to his press release, the prosaically dubbed opinion program will consist of five constantly changing “FOX personalities” such as Greg Gutfeld, Dana Perino, Judge Andrew Napolitano, etc. who will be joined by various guests. On an optimistic note, Shine stated, “The Five brings together an eclectic group of FOX talent whose knowledge of key issues and unique insights will undoubtedly make for a dynamic program.”
Not too surprisingly, Shine’s decision to air this inchoate, amorphous show was not universally well received. To wit, Inside Cable News was not the least bit impressed. Rather, blogger Spud scoffed, “This is probably the most uninspiring offering FNC has put on the air….FNC is apparently out of new ideas and unsure of a future course of action regarding 5pm.” He acerbically added, “Nobody involved in this project should feel too secure about its future when the press release announcing it spells out that it has a short shelf life: This is FNC in a rare public manifestation of scramble mode…coming up with something to fill the space without regard to the suitability of that kind of programming at that time of day.
Spud appears exactly right that Shine is “coming up with something to fill the space without regard to [its] suitability.” However, in the author’s view, he may be mistaken that Shine is in “scramble mode.” Rather, Shine seems to be in the midst of a daytime shakeup.
By adopting the summer-long The Five, Shine places the spot virtually on a short hold for something–or, someone. In the author’s opinion, that someone may well be America Live anchor Megyn Kelly who is still on maternity leave. When she returns in a month or so, Shine will finally have the obvious slot for his still “rising star.”
In fact, Shine appears to have already anticipated Kelly’s move from the America Live slot to the later five o’clock hour. Since she left for maternity leave in April, Shine has appeared to prepare for the possible transition by auditioning Kelly’s fellow FNC female daytime anchors for the America Live anchor seat. To wit, he has showcased Martha MacCallum (America’s Newsroom), Alisyn Camerota (Fox & Friends Weekend), and Gretchen Carlson (Fox & Friends weekday) in Kelly’s chair, not in the usual short rotations, but for long stints instead. In doing so, he has already acclimated the AL audience to their presence and their respective audiences to their absence. Not to mention, he has already brought in “the new girl,” Molly Line, to Fox & Friends Weekend to fill the empty seat in any future musical chairs.
Scramble or shakeup? Time will tell. Soon.