Bill Hemmer’s show debut sees double digit increase over Shepard Smith’s version

Looks like more Fox News viewers are tuning in to the network’s 3 p.m. hour now that former anchor Shepard Smith has left the building.

Smith’s replacement, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer, showed a promising start as his new show launched on Monday with an impressive increase in viewership over the time slot’s numbers at the same time last year.

(Video: Fox News)

The debut of “Bill Hemmer Reports” saw an increase of 37 percent over last year’s average of “Shepard Smith Reporting,” according to Nielsen Media Research, with 1.8 million total viewers. The numbers beat out MSNBC, which averaged one million viewers with “MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi,” and CNN, which pulled in only 867,000 during the same 3 p.m. ET time period with “CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin.”

“I am very happy to start this next chapter with you at home. We won’t solve the world’s issues in an hour, but over time we will understand them better. I call it the whole picture,” Hemmer told viewers in his inaugural episode.

“We’ll be fast and we’ll try to be first, but we will focus on being fair,” he added. “In the end, the whole picture takes time, but over time we hope to see you around here more often and that’s our word.”

Compared to the same day last year when Smith hosted the time slot, “Bill Hemmer Reports” saw a 12 percent increase in the 25-54 age demographic. The show averaged 269,000 viewers in the key demographic, compared to CNN’s 199,000 and MSNBC’s 164,000 viewers.

The show’s first guests included President Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Kevin Sheekey, the campaign manager for 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.

Hemmer, who joined Fox News in 2005 and was formerly at CNN, co-anchored “America’s Newsroom” since 2009 before being moved to the time period hosted by Smith, who abruptly left Fox News in October after more than two decades with the network.

Fox News’ chief national correspondent Ed Henry, who also did a stint at CNN, replaced Hemmer in his former time slot.

A select few shed tears over Smith’s departure but most loyal Fox News viewers celebrated the news as his vocally anti-Trump bias was regularly on display.

“Is he leaving? Oh, that’s a shame,” Trump quipped when told of Smith’s resignation. “Is he leaving because of his ratings? I mean, if he’s leaving, I assume he’s leaving because he had bad ratings. He had the worst ratings on Fox, so there’s a reason. Why is Shepard Smith leaving? Well, I wish him well. I wish Shepard Smith well.”

Recent reports indicated that the 56-year-old former Fox News anchor was in talks with MSNBC and CNN.

Meanwhile, Hemmer’s ratings win with his show’s debut was lauded by Twitter users.

Frieda Powers

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