In a shocking development, the popular U.S. news channel, Fox News, ousted their prime-time anchor Tucker Carlson after his 14-year career on their network on April 24 The network did not cite any reason for the termination..
Carlson was considered the most popular anchor on the network and his removal from Fox News sent shockwaves in the media and political sphere. It also spiraled Fox Corporation’s stock, plunging by 3% on the same night of Carlson’s termination. According to The New York Times, Carlson’s annual contract of $20 million is still expected to be paid out for the remainder of the year. Fox News released a statement on April 24 saying, “We thank him for his service to the network as a host and before that as a contributor.”
Carlson’s last show aired on April 21 and will be hosted by interim anchors until a permanent replacement is found. According to Nielsen data, his different shows made up four of the top 10 highest rated programs on U.S. cable TV. For the week of March 27 to April 2, his shows had more than three million viewers tuning in on an average night.
Guest host Brian Kilmeade stepped in for the prime-time slot on April 24 and told viewers, “As you probably have heard, Fox News and Carlson have parted ways. I wish Tucker the best. I am great friends with Tucker and always will be.”
Reuters says that two sources close to the organization said that Fox Corp Chief Executive Lachlan Murdoch and Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott decided on the night of Friday, April 21, that it was time to part ways with Carlson. Another source told Reuters that the senior executive producer of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Justin Wells, was also terminated from his position from Fox News on the same day.
Carlson’s departure from Fox News comes after a week where the channel agreed to pay a giant $787.5 million settlement to Dominion Voting Systems after it aired 2020 Presidential election-related conspiracy theories and false news.
The New York Times says the timing of Carlson parting ways with Fox News is conspicuous as a former producer, Abby Grossberg sued the channel in March 2023 accusing Carlson of promoting a hostile, misogynistic discriminatory work environment. Grossberg was fired after claiming that Fox lawyers had pressured her to give misleading testimony in the Dominion lawsuit. Sources also report that the network is tired of controlling the controversial host who is famous for attracting trouble.
Carlson was popular for his views on the January 6 Capitol insurrection and had also grown to become a popular force in GOP politics. His shows were reportedly known for setting agendas for the conservatives and the Republican Party most specifically. His conservative ideology and his frequent targeting of ‘wokeness’ made him the top-rated host of Fox News.
Carlson is popularly known for agreeing on-air with Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s views. Earlier this year, his show concluded that the security tapes of Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, “does not show an insurrection or riot in progress.” U.S. Representative Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky, said Fox would suffer from Carlson’s departure. He tweeted “Tucker Carlson leaving Fox News. He was the boldest they had! This is a big loss for Fox.”
Edited by Elena Potek