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Fox News in Early Talks With Laura Ingraham

Fox News Channel is in discussions with the conservative radio host Laura Ingraham that could result in her coming to the 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news network as a regular host, a person familiar with the outlet’s plans confirmed early Tuesday.

The two sides are believed to be in early talks, and no decision has been made regarding the time slot Ingraham might anchor, or even when she might join the company in the new role. No deal has been signed, and there is no sense at this time when one might come to fruition, this person said. She already serves as a Fox News contributor.

Revelation of the talks, which surfaced Monday on The Drudge Report and were further detailed by CNN, show Fox News Channel continuing to mull tinkering with its program line-up as it grapples in real time to find alternatives for hosts who have come under recent fire. Fox News replaced mainstay Bill O’Reilly in April after he parted ways over advertiser reaction to disclosures of settlements paid to women who had accused him of sexual harassment and other improprieties.

The network’s current primetime lineup features Tucker Carlson at 8 p.m, the panel show “The Five” at 9 p.m., and Sean Hannity at 10 p.m. And though Fox News remains cable’s most-watched news network, it has had to contend with a resurgent MSNBC, where a primetime lineup led by Rachel Maddow has expanded its audience.

Ingraham has a long association with Fox News, having served as a fill-in for both Hannity and O’Reilly.  Executives at the network have remained open to the idea of tweaking its primetime lineup, Fox News co-president Jack Abernethy told Variety in July.

Fox News is also mulling talent options due to the recent suspension of Eric Bolling, the former commodities trader who served as co-host on the late-afternoon program “Fox News Specialists,” this person confirmed. Bolling was suspended earlier this month, when Fox News said it planned to investigate recent allegations made in a Huffington Post report that Bolling may have sexually harassed colleagues. Bolling has denied the charges and said he intends to clear his name.

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