Fox News announced Monday that right-wing prime-time anchor Tucker Carlson is departing the cable network immediately. Days before to the news, Fox News’ parent corporation agreed to pay $787.5 million to resolve a slander lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems.
According to a prior report by CNBC, the settlement did not impose any obligations on the company’s hosts to discuss the issue or express regret.
“FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” the business stated in a statement on Monday. “We thank him for his service to the network both as a host and, prior to that, a contributor.”
Carlson won’t receive a send-off because his final broadcast aired on Friday. Carlson had promised to return on Monday when he signed off on Friday. One of Fox’s most popular shows, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” has been hosted by Carlson for a while.
Beyond the release, the business declined to comment, including on whether Carlson’s airtime was suspended in reaction to the Dominion defamation lawsuit.
An hour after CNN anchor Don Lemon announced his termination from the network and a day after NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell was sacked for having an inappropriate contact with a worker, news of Carlson’s dismissal broke.
53-year-old Carlson was one of the Fox executives and hosts who were interrogated in connection with the Dominion case. His emails and texts were also included in the material that was made public prior to the settlement. Additionally, Carlson’s broadcast was one of around 20 that Dominion’s lawyers had cited as proof of defamation on Fox’s networks.
Along with former host Lou Dobbs, other hosts like Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham were deposed and included in the evidence.
Dominion said that by publicizing unfounded assertions that the company’s devices manipulated the election, Fox and its networks “intentionally and falsely” blamed Dominion for the 2020 loss of former President Donald Trump to President Joe Biden.
Several prominent hosts, including Carlson, voiced shock and suspicion at remarks made on-air, especially by guests like pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell.
“I find that incredibly disgusting. According to court documents, Carlson claimed in one text message sent in the weeks before the election that “our viewers are good people and they believe it.”
Dominion cited the decline in Fox’s viewership that occurred after election night, when the network supported Biden in Arizona. In the background, Carlson and his co-hosts discussed “the threat to them personally.” On November 5, Carlson sent a message to his producer in which he stated: “We worked incredibly hard to establish what we have. Those jerks are eroding our reputation. It makes me angry.
Following the election, Powell, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and the CEO of MyPillow, Mike Lindell, were all guests on Fox, where they repeated the bogus allegations that Dominion rigged the election.
And even though Carlson had just welcomed Trump on Fox News following his indictment in New York, Carlson had previously referred to Trump as “a demonic force” following the Jan. 6 incident in which a violent crowd of Trump fans broke into the U.S. Capitol.
If the case went to trial, Carlson was one of the witnesses scheduled to give a testimony. Abby Grossberg, a former Fox producer who worked on the Bartiromo and Carlson shows, was also listed as a witness.
Grossberg came forward in the weeks before the trial was set to begin, claiming she had been forced into giving false testimony as part of the Dominion case. According to Fox, Grossberg made “unjustified legal claims that are filled with untrue allegations against Fox and our employees.”
In court documents, Grossberg’s attorneys claimed that Fox dismissed her as retaliation. She has sued Fox, charging the network with discrimination, in New York and Delaware.
In a statement released on Monday, Grossberg applauded Carlson’s departure and said, “This is a step towards accountability for the election lies and baseless conspiracy theories spread by Fox News, something I personally witnessed at the network, as well as for the abuse and harassment I endured while Head of Booking and Senior Producer for Tucker Carlson Tonight. It’s fantastic for America, in my opinion! It’s a significant victory for all cable news watchers, not just Fox fans.
After Bill O’Reilly left the network amid scandal in 2017, Carlson took over O’Reilly’s Fox prime time position. Several former Fox workers have accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment. He has refuted the charges.
Although Fox’s business was not likely to be impacted by the Dominion lawsuit, it was not obvious how it would impact its programs and hosts.
Dobbs’ weekday program on Fox Business was suspended shortly after Smartmatic, another voting technology company, filed a slander lawsuit against Fox in 2021. The Smartmatic lawsuit, which is still pending and won’t go to trial until 2025, names Dobbs as a defendant. Before the lawsuit, according to Fox at the time, the show’s cancellation was being planned.