Fox News headquarters in New York
Fox News headquarters in New YorkiStock

Fox News announced on Monday that its replacement for ousted primetime host Tucker Carlson will be conservative commentator Jesse Watters, AFP reports.

The move was part of a shake-up at Fox News nine weeks after it parted ways with Carlson following Fox's $787 million payout to settle a defamation case brought by election technology company Dominion Voting Systems, in which Carlson played a starring role.

In announcing Watters, a co-host of Fox's evening roundtable show "The Five," the company unveiled a new prime-time lineup, with "Jesse Watters Primetime" airing in Carlson's previous slot at 8:00 p.m.

The change comes as Fox seeks to staunch financial bleeding since Carlson's departure in May, with evening ratings reportedly crashing after his exit.

Watters, 44, began working at Fox as a production assistant after graduating from college in 2001. In the past he has been accused of airing racist segments.

In late 2021, during the COVID-10 pandemic, he urged attendees at a conservative political conference to "ambush" Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert.

He called on them to "go in for the kill shot" with a barrage of questions at Fauci.

Fauci said later that Watters should be "fired on the spot," but Fox defended Watters.

After being ousted from Fox News, Carlson moved his show to Twitter, where his videos have been viewed more than 100 million times.

Fox News has launched a legal battle to halt his shows, arguing they violate the terms of his contract.