Fox News on April 24 confirmed that it "parted ways" with popular primetime host Tucker Carlson, offering no explanation why.
The network stated that his departure from the network is effective immediately. Carlson's last show was on April 21. It means that Carlson won't have the opportunity to host a final Fox News show and bid his viewers farewell.
Later on April 24, Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner stated that Carlson and Fox News "mutually agreed" to part ways. No other details were provided.
In Carlson's place, "Fox News Tonight" will air starting at 8 p.m., a time slot that Carlson has held since April 2017. That will be "an interim show helmed by rotating FOX News personalities until a new host is named," according to Fox's news release.
His ratings also spiked in early March when he aired never-before-seen footage of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach, the Nielsen numbers show. One of the clips aired on his show appeared to show "QAnon Shaman" Jacob Chansley being escorted by Capitol Police through the premises.
Carlson’s segments that were published on Fox News’s YouTube page would often generate millions of views each. For example, a recent post titled “Tucker Carlson: The Biden admin is incentivizing bad behavior” netted more than 600,000 views in two days.
Carlson joined Fox News in 2009, first working as a contributor. Between 2012 and 2016, he served as the co-host of “Fox & Friends Weekend” before starting his primetime show a year later.
Other TerminationsAlso on April 24, now-former CNN host Don Lemon announced on Twitter that he was fired by CNN. Lemon also made a cryptic statement that reads: "At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network. It is clear that there are some larger issues at play."
Last week, another popular Fox News host, Dan Bongino, announced via his podcast that he too is leaving Fox News.
“The show ending last week was tough. It’s not some big conspiracy theory, I promise you. There’s no acrimony,” Bongino said on April 20. “We just couldn’t come to terms on an extension. That’s really it.”
He also said: “I really enjoyed myself there. They were good for me for 10 years.
“It’s a sad day. They did give me the opportunity to do one last show, I don’t want you to think they showed me the door. That’s on me, not on them, but I thought it was best to go this way for now.”
Fox News stated to several news outlets after Bongino's departure: “We thank Dan for his contributions and wish him success in his future endeavors.” The company didn't explain why it was parting ways with Bongino, who was a New York City Police Department official and U.S. Secret Service agent before entering the media business.
On April 21, Carlson appeared at a Heritage Foundation event highlighting the conservative group's 50th anniversary. After Carlson gave a keynote speech, Heritage President Kevin Roberts told Carlson, "If things go south for Fox News, there’s always a job for you at Heritage."
ReactionsDespite the reasons for Carlson’s exit, it signals the biggest shock to Fox News’ lineup since former top host Bill O’Reilly was booted from the channel in 2017. His “O’Reilly Factor”—a longtime mainstay on cable news—was Fox News’ highest-rated program at the time.
Arizona GOP candidate Kari Lake, who was a longtime Fox Phoenix anchor before departing to start a career in politics, wrote on Twitter: "[The] best decision I ever made was leaving Fox. Good for you, [Tucker Carlson]. You’re free & uncensored!”
Former Fox host Megyn Kelly responded to the news on her podcast: “This is a terrible move by Fox, and it’s a great thing for Tucker Carlson."
“I don’t know what drove Fox News to make this decision. And it was clearly Fox News’ decision because they’re not letting him say goodbye,” Kelly said. “That’s my supposition. That’s not inside knowledge ... talk about misjudging your audience yet again.”
After it was announced Carlson would be leaving the network, Fox Corporation's stock dropped by about 4 percent by midday trading.
Other details about Carlson's departure weren't made public. A Fox News spokesperson didn't respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.