Maria Bartiromo will return to the anchor chair during “Fox News Primetime” on Monday as the network continues its search for a permanent host, TheWrap has learned.
Bartiromo will become the first woman to guest host the 7 p.m. show twice since it launched. The network has rotated a cast of star hosts, one per week, since the show’s January debut, but has not yet announced a permanent anchor. The top-rated hosts so far have been Brian Kilmeade, Trey Gowdy and Bartiromo.
Bartiromo previously hosted the 7 p.m. hour at the end of January. She averaged 1.88 million total viewers for that week, according to Nielsen Media Research ratings data. During Gowdy’s first week of hosting at the beginning of February, he averaged 1.99 million.
After a schedule reshuffling at the beginning of the year that moved previous 7 p.m. host Martha MacCallum to 3 p.m. and turned the hour from news to opinion, Kilmeade took over during the first week. He averaged 1.96 million. Other guest hosts — who averaged lower than Bartiromo, Gowdy and Kilmeade — included Mark Steyn, Rachel Campos-Duffy, Katie Pavlich and Lawrence Jones.
Cheryl Casone and Jackie DeAngelis will fill in for Bartiromo all week on her Fox Business Network program, “Mornings With Maria.” Typically, Bartiromo hosts 16 and a half hours of live television per week, including her “Sunday Morning Futures” for Fox News and FBN’s “Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street” on Fridays.
The content of Bartiromo’s first week of “Primetime” was similar to that of “Sunday Morning Futures,” featuring interviews with newsmakers and policymakers. “Futures” had a record year in 2020, averaging 2.1 million viewers for the year with 355,000 in the advertiser-coveted age demographic of 25 to 54.
Bartiromo, who told the Los Angeles Times in December that she considered herself to be a news anchor, has recently been criticized for sharing unsubstantiated and false claims about widespread voter fraud on her shows. Most recently, Bartiromo — along with fellow Fox News personalities Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro — had to issue an on-air fact-check to dispute false claims about voting software company Smartmatic that had been presented as fact or largely unchallenged on her show.