Elisabeth Hasselbeck leaving The View for Fox & Friends appears to be big news, but in terms of ratings for the cable news giant it’s expected to create little more than a ripple.
Media critics say Hasselbeck may fit in good enough with her new co-stars, but her addition will do little to boost the show’s already high ratings.
Word of Hasselbeck’s defection to Fox leaked on Tuesday, which Elisabeth confirmed on The View on Wednesday.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck is now the third member The View to depart the show, after Joy Behar announced in March she would leave after this season and Barbara Walters confirmed in May she would retire next year.
“We have had 10 wonderful years with Elisabeth, and she will now be swimming in new waters,” said Walters, the show’s creator and executive producer. “We will miss her and wish her everything good.”
Hasselbeck replaces Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson, who is getting her own hour-long daytime program this fall. Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes said Hasselbeck will make a great addition to the Fox morning show, which also features Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade.
“Elisabeth’s warm and engaging personality made her a star on The View,” Ailes said in a press release. “She has proven to be an excellent conversationalist, and I am certain she will make a great addition to our already successful morning franchise.”
But Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple said Hasselbeck will not really affect the dynamic of the show.
“Perhaps Hasselbeck will be a transformative force, strong enough to: neutralize the mindless quipping of Doocy and Kilmeade; overhaul the program’s booking policies; banish its history of egregious mistakes; and otherwise undo everything that the show has stood for. None of that will happen.”
Elisabeth Hasselbeck will likely do little to shift ratings for Fox & Friends, media critics say, but that is good news for Fox. The show continues to crush its competition in the ratings, and a Gallup poll from earlier this week showed Fox News as the top source for news among American viewers.