In a move that has sent shockwaves through the US media and political world, Fox News and Tucker Carlson have ended their association.
The End of an Era: Fox News' Farewell to Tucker Carlson
In a succinct statement, Fox News acknowledged Carlson's contributions to the network, both as a host and a contributor, but provided no clarification for his abrupt departure.
The statement simply stated that his last show aired on Friday, April 21, and expressed gratitude for his service to the network. Carlson, who was Fox News' most-watched host, did not respond to repeated attempts to solicit a comment.
The decision to part ways with Carlson was made on Friday night by Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott, as confirmed by a source with inside knowledge of the situation. Carlson was informed of the decision on Monday morning, according to another individual privy to the matter.
The announcement of Carlson's departure came a mere seven days after Fox News reached a settlement with Dominion Voting Systems in a defamation lawsuit, paying $787.5 million for its role in spreading election lies. The lawsuit also revealed Carlson's disparagement of his colleagues.
A lawsuit filed in March by his former co-star Abby Grossberg, who has since been fired, included allegations of sexism on Carlson's show. During his time as a prime-time anchor at Fox News, Carlson became one of the most influential figures within the GOP, with Republican lawmakers paying deference to him and former President Donald Trump granting him his first post-indictment interview earlier this month.
The Consequences of Carlson's Sudden Ouster
"Tucker Carlson had become even more powerful than Fox News itself," said Brian Stelter, the author of the upcoming book "Network of Lies," which is a comprehensive analysis of Fox News. "His sudden departure will have far-reaching implications for Fox News, the world of television news, and the Republican Party." On his show, Carlson was known for his vocal criticism of the US' support of Ukraine after it was invaded by Russian forces.
In one of his segments, he famously asked, "It might be worth asking yourself since it is getting pretty serious: What is this really about? Why do I hate Putin so much? Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him? Has he shipped every middle-class job in my town to Russia?" According to the Wall Street Journal, Carlson was informed of his firing just 10 minutes before the official announcement was made.
The decision to terminate Carlson was made by Rupert Murdoch, the 92-year-old owner of Fox, with input from senior Fox executives, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.