Tucker Carlson out a Fox

By Michael P. Hill Article may include affiliate links

Fox’s conservative commentary channel has fired one of its biggest stars — Tucker Carlson.

“Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” the network said in a statement.

The network added that the April 21, 2023, edition of the show was its last, meaning Carlson never got to say goodbye to viewers.

Shortly after the announcement was made, host Harris Faulkner made a brief announcement on air after returning from a break during “The Faulkner Focus.”

The statement was almost exactly the same as the statement issued by Fox.

After that, Harris switched gears and, with much more enthusiasm, introduced a segment about proposed laws in Washington and Oregon to allow transgender youth to receive gender-affirming medical care, a common target of the right and the channel.

Fox will temporarily replace the show with “Fox News Tonight” at 8 p.m. eastern with guest hosts before a permanent show and host is named.

“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade would later announce he would host April 24.

The move comes after Fox agreed to pay $787 million to Dominion Voting Systems in an 11th-hour settlement over widely inaccurate claims various Fox hosts and guests made about the company’s voting technology following the 2020 election.

Carlson’s show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” features many of those false claims and he himself has also peddled other false and misleading information on a variety of topics.

A separate lawsuit, brought by Smartmatic, is currently in trial.

Carlson is also facing a separate lawsuit from Abby Grossberg, a former booking producer for “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” alleging a sexist work environment that included staffers sharing a doctored photo of then U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a bathing suit and office polls over which Michigan gubernatorial candidate men would prefer to have sex with, according to legal filings.

As part of the Smartmatic suit, numerous personal text messages between Carlson and other Fox personalities and executives emerged, appearing to indicate they knew the claims being made on the network were false but still allegedly kept the narrative going in order to keep viewers.

Other texts contained offensive language from both Carlson and others as well as Carlson expressing his distaste for Donald Trump.

Carlson was often Fox’s highest-rated personality, surpassing Sean Hannity. His show was frequently the top rated show in all of cable.

It’s not clear why, exactly, Fox and Carlson parted ways, including exit is tied to either the lawsuits or harassment accusations or an unrelated matter.

Later reports would indicate that Fox chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch and the channel’s CEO Suzanne Scott made the decision to cut ties with Carlson Friday, April 21, 2023.

He reportedly only found out about the plans about 10 minutes before they were announced to the public.

Sources have told other outlets that, despite the phrasing of the statement, the decision was really a firing — and something Carlson had not agreed to and, in fact, was “shocked” by the decision, according to sources.

Fox has previously fired CEO Roger Ailes and popular host Bill O’Reilly for sexual misconduct allegations.

Carlson was reportedly making around $20 million a year for hosting his primetime show and contributing “Tucker Carlson Originals” to the network’s Fox Nation streamer.

He had signed his latest contract with the network in 2021 that runs through 2025.

Reports indicate that Fox is planning to pay him the remaining value of his contract, though it appears poised to try to impose confidentiality requirements and a non-compete that would bar Carlson from working for another media outlet for a certain time period as terms of accepting the remainder of his deal.