By Joey Nolfi
January 05, 2017 at 10:46 AM EST
Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Three days after confirming Megyn Kelly’s departure, Fox News has already settled on her replacement.

Tucker Carlson, the Republican political commentator who currently fronts the channel’s weekday lineup with his Tucker Carlson Tonight at 7 p.m., will move to the departing anchor’s 9 p.m. primetime slot.

“In less than two months, Tucker has taken cable news by storm with his spirited interviews and consistently strong performance,” Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox and Fox News, said in a statement. “Viewers have overwhelmingly responded to the show and we look forward to him being a part of Fox News’ powerful primetime lineup.”

In a surprise move, NBC News announced Tuesday it had signed Kelly, who spent 12 years at Fox, to a multi-year agreement that gives the 46-year-old her own in-depth Sunday evening series in addition to an anchor position at the head of a one-hour daytime program set to air Monday through Friday. Kelly will also have a larger presence in NBC’s breaking news, political, and special events coverage.

Kelly was quick to tweet her congratulations to Carlson, writing, “Congratulations to my friend @TuckerCarlson on moving to the 9p slot at Fox! This is a great decision by FNC & I will be cheering him on!”

Martha MacCallum, co-anchor of Fox’s morning program America’s Newsroom, will take over Carlson’s 7 p.m. time slot for The First 100 Days, which will track the first 100 days of President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. The series will begin on Jan. 16.

“Martha is a versatile and skilled anchor who has proven to be an essential component of our news programming,” Murdoch said. “For the last 12 years, our viewers have trusted her reporting and we are pleased she will be part of our primetime line-up for the first 100 days of the new presidency.”

Chief political anchor Bill Baier will take host the network’s programming from 6-8 p.m. ET for all of next week.

After previously hosting Crossfire on CNN, Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered on PBS, and Tucker on MSNBC, the Daily Caller co-founder took Fox News by storm since Tucker Carlson Tonight premiered in November 2016, boosting Fox News to double-digit increases in viewership and in the 25-54 demographic across its 7 p.m. hour, with the network averaging 3.3 million total viewers throughout the month.

Carlson recently came under fire for his handling of a Dec. 23 interview with Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca, who appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss Ivanka Trump’s confrontation with an irate passenger aboard a JetBlue flight. Though the pair agreed that Trump was mistreated aboard the plane, Carlson repeatedly interrupted Duca’s responses before belittling her writing experience at the fashion-oriented publication.

Drudge Report was the first to report the news.

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