Who will Greg Gutfeld yell at now?
He expressed a desire on air Wednesday to stay near his family in Washington D.C. Williams commuted to New York before the pandemic to take part in the show.
“COVID taught me a lot of lessons. As the show goes back to the New York studio, I’ll be staying in DC. I will be working for Fox out of Washington. My work as a Fox News political analyst will continue. You know it’s been going on seven years since I have been a daily host of this show,” Williams said Wednesday afternoon. “The show’s popularity has grown every single year so thank you. Thank you so much, to you, the viewers. Thank you.”
Like Alan B. Colmes did before him for years on a show alongside Sean Hannity, Williams has offered up commentary with a left-leaning perspective on Fox News for years, often drawing the wrath of his conservative colleagues. Some of the most viral clips from “The Five” depict co-host Greg Gutfeld berating Williams over a disagreement on an issue of the day. Fox News intends to use a rotating group of liberal commentators as substitutes for Williams and expects to replace him, eventually, with a panelist who holds a similar viewpoint.
“The Five” is one of the Fox Corp. outlet’s most durable programs, luring sizable crowds at its usual late-afternoon hour, and even filling in as part of the Fox News primetime schedule for a period of time after the departures of Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly. “No matter where it went, it was the best decision I ever made as a programming executive,” Suzanne Scott, Fox News Media’s CEO, told Variety in 2019. In April, the show was the third most-watched cable-news program among people between 25 and 54, the audience coveted most by advertisers in news programming. Only Fox News’ “Hannity” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” drew more.
“As we started planning The Five’s return to its New York City studio at our headquarters a few months ago, Juan decided to stay in Washington, DC permanently. We accommodated his request, understanding and appreciating his desire to remain closer to his family and recognizing that a remote co-hosting role on a roundtable in-studio program was not a long-term option,” said Megan Albano, the Fox News executive who oversees the show, in a statement. “While we will miss his insightful contributions each night and look forward to welcoming him on set whenever he’s in New York, we are pleased to have him continue his longtime role as a senior political analyst with Fox News Media.” She said that Fox News was ” incredibly grateful for his commitment to the show and its success over the last several years.”
Originally conceived of as a vehicle to give more air time to Fox News contributors without their own programs, “The Five” has lent momentum to panelists like Gutfeld, who now hosts a program at 11 p.m.; Perino, who has a daytime vehicle; and Watters, who first gained popularity contributing to the primetime “O’Reilly Factor.”
Williams enjoyed a long career before he started contributing to Fox News. He worked for more than two decades at The Washington Post and then joined NPR in 2000 as the host of “Talk of the Nation.” Some of his commentary on Fox News drew scrutiny from NPR executives, and the broadcaster terminated his employment there in 2010 after he made some remarks on O’Reilly’s show, He has been a Fox News contributor since 1997.