Fox Business Network said it would scrap most of its primetime schedule by putting two of its programs on hiatus “until further notice” in order to staff coverage of the coronavirus crisis elsewhere within Fox News Media.
The network said in a statement that its 8 p.m. hour, “Trish Regan Primetime,” and 9 p.m. hour, “Kennedy,” would be replaced by long form programming.
“Due to the demands of the evolving pandemic crisis coverage, we are deploying all resources from both shows for staffing needs during critical market hours,” the network’s statement said.
Regan, who hosts a show that tends to focus on the political, has generated some criticism in recent days for hosting segments suggesting that liberals were overstating the effects of the spread of coronavirus to discredit President Donald Trump. A graphic that accompanied one segment that aired Monday read “Coronavirus Impeachment Scam.”
Regan launched her program in the fall of 2018, part of a bid by Fox News Media to add more live programming to the network, which also airs an early-evening program from host Lou Dobbs, and shows focused on business news during the day led by anchors such as Liz Claman, Maria Bartiromo, Stuart Varney and Neil Cavuto. Kennedy, the public name of Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, who first rose to fame as an MTV DJ, joined Fox Business as a contributor in 2012, and then began hosting a show called “The Independents.”
But Fox Media’s top executives made clear in a memo released Thursday that coronavirus coverage was going to take up more bandwidth. Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and Fox News President Jay Wallace urged employees to “keep in mind that viewers rely on us to stay informed during a crisis of this magnitude and we are providing an important public service to our audience by functioning as a resource for all Americans.” The duo said that the network would make some programming change and recalibrate its newsgathering operation to accommodate the change in the news cycle.
Fox Business’ programs aren’t the only ones being affected. On Fox News Channel, executives planned to pre-empt opinion host Laura Ingraham’s 10 p.m. hour Friday night in favor of breaking news coverage from Bill Hemmer. Fox News also plans to scuttle overnight repeats and expand anchor Shannon Bream’s 11 p.m. show to two hours, while having Los Angeles-based anchor Trace Gallagher present coverage from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. The network is also reworking parts of its weekend schedule to keep live coverage going.