Fox News host Tucker Carlson was “blindsided” when he received a call from CEO Suzanne Scott early Monday morning informing him he had been fired from the network, sources said.
Tucker Carlson, who was in the midst of negotiating a new contract, had recently been in talks to renew his contract through 2029, according to a Vanity Fair report.
The news came just days after Fox News settled a $787 million defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems over controversial claims made by Carlson and others at the network about the 2020 presidential election. Experts revealed that it is believed that Carlson’s termination order came directly from Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who owns Fox News.
On Monday night, his show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was awkwardly replaced by “Fox News Tonight” hosted by Brian Kilmeade, which was passed over by Carlson’s sudden departure.
“As you’ve probably heard, Fox News and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” he said.
“I wish Tucker the best. I’m really good friends with Tucker and always will be. But right now, it’s time for ‘Fox News Tonight,’ so let’s get started.”
Bill O’Reilly, who preceded Tucker Carlson in the coveted 8 p.m. slot, believed Carlson’s termination came amid more potential lawsuits related to the 2020 election, as well as an ongoing lawsuit filed by the ‘former Fox News anchor Abby Grossberg.
Bill O’Reilly continued with Chris Cuomo discussing the firings of Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon: “That’s the nature of TV news: the worst industry in the United States of America.” pic.twitter.com/CerDsClfo0
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) April 25, 2023
“Because the pending litigation was harpooned this morning,” O’Reilly told NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo. “Carlson didn’t know.”
“It just happened,” he continued. “And that’s the nature of television news, the worst industry in the United States of America.”
O’Reilly predicted that Fox News would take a big hit in the ratings after Tucker Carlson’s departure.
“Tucker Carlson took over from me. For the first three years, his ratings were soft. He lost about a million, maybe a little more of my audience, and then in 2020 he turned around on the right,” O’Reilly said. “Carlson basically programmed for a very decent audience and his numbers went up.”
As the Daily Beast reported Monday night, the Fox News bleed came at the behest of Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott.
“In Carlson’s case, it was Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott who made the call Friday night to power him and his show, he has learned Confider, thanks in large part (and surprisingly) in part to the vulgar comments he made about Carlson. Sidney Powell, the right-wing attorney behind many of the 2020 election lies pushed on the Fox airwaves” , the report said.
“Tucker was already troubling Fox management amid its conspiracy-laden coverage of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, including the repeated and baseless targeting of Trump supporter Ray Epps as the FBI agent who instigated the insurgency; an impending lawsuit from his former producer Abby Grossberg alleging a sexist work environment; and his disparaging remarks about Fox brass in documents made public,” the report added.
Fox News letting go of Tucker Carlson and Dan Bongino as two of Fox News’ strongest conservative voices surely signals a shift away from the pro-Trump base, as board member Paul Ryan argued in a court filing recently filtered Watch to see if Fox News cuts ties with more pro-Trump voices ahead of its 2024 election coverage.
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