WASHINGTON – Fox News and its top-rated host, Tucker Carlson, have agreed to part ways after parent company Fox Corp settled a $787.5 million defamation lawsuit in which Carlson played a significant role.
The decision was made on Friday by Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch and Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott.
Dominion Voting Systems had sued Fox News after Carlson allowed debunked election-fraud claims about the voting-technology firm to air on his show, while casting doubts on the plausibility of those claims in private messages that emerged in legal filings.
Carlson is also key to additional legal battles facing Fox, including a lawsuit filed by his former head of booking, Abby Grossberg, who said Fox coerced her testimony in the Dominion case.
The departure of Carlson, who hosted the highest-rated cable news program in the key 25-to-54 age demographic, is expected to have an impact on Fox’s ratings.
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U.S. Representative Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky, expressed his disappointment on Twitter, saying, “Fox would suffer from Carlson’s departure. @TuckerCarlson leaving Fox News. He was the boldest they had! This is a big loss for Fox.”
While Carlson’s next move is uncertain, it is clear that he will not be appearing on Fox News anymore.
The company said in a statement that his last program was on April 21, and that “Fox News Tonight” will air live at 8 pm.
EDT starting on Monday as an interim show helmed by rotating Fox News personalities until a new host is named.
Carlson joined Fox News as a contributor in 2009 and became a co-host of “Fox & Friends Weekend” in 2012. He began hosting his prime-time show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” in November 2016.
In 2021, Fox announced a multiyear deal with Carlson to provide content for its Fox Nation streaming service.
After the announcement of Carlson’s departure from Fox News, a spokesperson for former President Donald Trump tweeted: “Fox News is controlled opposition.”
Trump gave an interview to Carlson earlier this month that aired on Fox.
Fox News said in a statement, “We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.”
While the departure leaves Fox without one of its biggest stars, advertisers have fled Carlson’s show as he has embraced controversy.
Dominion is also suing Newsmax and One America News for similar debunked claims about vote rigging.