Fox News parted ways with top-rated primetime host Tucker Carlson on Monday.
Fox News parted ways with top-rated primetime host Tucker Carlson on Monday. Carlson’s sudden ouster comes less than one week after Fox settled the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit for $787.5 million where Carlson was featured heavily.
- Carlson was let go on Monday morning without getting a chance to say farewell to his audience. The network will replace his show with “Fox News Tonight,” hosted by a rotating series of guest hosts until a permanent replacement is named.
- Brian Kilmeade hosted the first episode on Monday night. He opened by telling viewers, “As you probably have heard, Fox News and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. I wish Tucker the best. I’m great friends with Tucker and always will be.”
- The decision to fire Carlson reportedly came straight from Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of the Fox Corporation. Murdoch was reportedly concerned about Carlson’s coverage of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot which Carlson called “mostly peaceful chaos.”
- Carlson was also damaged by text messages that were uncovered during the Dominion defamation lawsuit against Fox News. After the 2020 election, the avowedly pro-Trump host rejoiced that ““we are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights,” adding, “I truly can’t wait.”
- Carlson’s ouster was also tied to allegations from Abby Grossberg, a former producer on Tucker Carlson Tonight. Grossberg is suing the network, accusing Fox News of coercing her into giving misleading testimony in the Dominion lawsuit. In her lawsuit, Grossberg alleges she was bullied and targeted with antisemitic comments when she worked on Carlson’s show.
- Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott decided to give Carlson the boot on Friday night, allegedly in part because he reportedly called ex-Trump attorney Sidney Powell a c***.
- From the Daily Beast: “But most egregious, and what loomed large in his termination, people familiar with the matter told Confider, was how during his deposition with Dominion lawyers, when he was asked if “this wasn’t the only time you referred to Sidney Powell as a [c***]” the Fox News star responded: “You know I-I-I can’t know and I just want to apologize preemptively. I mean you’re trying to embarrass me, you’re definitely succeeding as I am embarrassed.” Carlson being nailed in court documents for his repeated use of the overtly misogynist c-word was a key factor in his demise.”
- Tucker Carlson’s ouster was announced shortly before news broke that CNN had fired Don Lemon. Lemon is leaving CNN after a shambolic stint hosting CNN This Morning, where he kicked off a national firestorm by criticizing GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley for being past her prime.
- The only mention of Carlson on Fox News’ homepage on Monday evening was a promoted article published one week ago about his interview with Elon Musk. In contrast, CNN had an article about its decision to “part ways” with Lemon prominently featured on its homepage.
- The New York Times’ Stuart A. Thompson compared Carlson to other Fox News hosts “who once commanded huge audiences before quick departures from their networks.” Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck both started podcast and run news sites with far inferior web traffic compared to Fox News.
- The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake wrote Carlson’s “fast–and-loose style and huge stature were a toxic mix,” especially after the Dominion settlement. Blake argued “Carlson’s seemingly thumbing his nose at Fox’s growing legal jeopardy” in recent weeks help set the stage for his removal.
- Politico’s Jack Shafer argued Fox’s hosts are all replaceable because “Fox itself, which convenes the audience, is the star.” Shafer added, The nighttime hosts, as talented as they are — and Beck, O’Reilly, Kelly and Carlson are among some of the most talented broadcasters to slop the makeup on and speak into the camera — are as replaceable as the members of the bubblegum group the Archies, as interchangeable as the actors who’ve played James Bond.”
- The Wall Street Journal reported Carlson will be paid for the remainder of his contract, worth $20 million per year, which was renewed in 2021. Carlson was reportedly informed of his ouster approximately ten minutes before Fox News announced his exit.
- The New York Post noted “Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 3.32 million viewers before its cancellation. This made “Tucker Carlson Tonight” the biggest cable news audience among the 25-54 demographic, which is considered highly desirable by advertisers.
- National Review’s Michael Brendan Dougherty predicted Tucker Carlson will become “the next big thing in independent media.” Dougherty noted the left’s ad boycott against Tucker Carlson Tonight may have played a role in his ouster, and starting his own media brand would be able to avoid that while building an audience from his former viewers.
© Dominic Moore, 2023