Fox News said Monday it has “agreed to part ways” with Tucker Carlson, its popular and controversial host, less than a week after settling a lawsuit over the network’s 2020 election reporting.
The network said in a press release that the last program of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” aired Friday.
“We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” the press release from the network said.
Carlson became Fox’s most popular personality after replacing Bill O’Reilly in Fox’s prime-time lineup in 2016. He’s also consistently drawn headline for controversial coverage, including most recently airing tapes from the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection to minimize the impact of the deadly attack.
There was no immediate explanation from Fox about why Carlson was leaving. A text message to Carlson seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Fox agreed last week to pay Dominion Voting Systems more than $787 million and acknowledged that some of its reporting following the 2020 election — which allowed former President Donald Trump’s aides to amplify false charges of election fraud — was incorrect.
But that reporting mostly concerned other shows, not Carlson’s. His name did come up during the case, primarily because of email and text messages that were revealed as part of the lawsuit.
Carlson and other Fox hosts were caught in private messages doubting their own network’s allegations about Dominion’s role in the supposed election fraud, while also being concerned that Fox was losing audience among Trump fans at the time. In some of them, Carlson privately criticized Trump, saying he hated him passionately.
A few weeks ago, Carlson devoted his entire show to an interview with Trump.
Carlson was recently named in a lawsuit filed by Abby Grossberg, a Fox News producer fired after claiming that Fox lawyers had pressured her to give misleading testimony in the Dominion lawsuit. Grossberg had gone to work for Carlson after leaving Maria Bartiromo’s Fox show.
Her lawsuit says that Grossberg learned “she had merely traded in one overtly misogynistic work environment for an even crueler one — this time, one where unprofessionalism reigned supreme, and the staff’s distaste and disdain for women infiltrated almost every workday decision.”
Fox has countered with its own lawsuit, trying to bar Grossberg from disclosing confidential discussions with Fox attorneys and saying in a statement that “her allegations in connection with the Dominion case are baseless.”
“Fox News Tonight” will air in Carlson’s 8 p.m. ET prime-time slot, hosted by a rotating array of network personalities, for the time being.
David Bauder, The Associated Press