In an austere, four-sentence statement, Fox News announced Monday that prime-time star Tucker Carlson is leaving the network, effective immediately.
“FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” the network said in a statement released by a spokesperson. “We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.”
Fox said Carlson’s last day hosting his show was Friday, April 21. Suzanne Scott and Lachlan Murdoch, the chief executives of Fox News and its parent company Fox Corp. respectively, had decided Carlson’s fate on Friday, a source with knowledge told NPR.
Yet even after Fox released its statement on Monday morning, the network was still promoting an interview between Carlson and presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy that was to have aired later that night.
Carlson had signed off of Friday’s show by wishing viewers the “best weekend” and telling them he’d be back on Monday. He did not respond to a request for comment from NPR.
The ouster of Fox’s top opinion host comes less than a week after Fox settled an epic defamation lawsuit by an election technology company for more than $787 million. Dominion Voting Systems sued over segments promoting bogus claims that election fraud cheated then-President Donald Trump of victory in 2020.
Carlson featured in Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit. Yet he is also the focus of a lawsuit from his former senior booking producer, Abby Grossberg, who filed two separate suits.
Producer suing Carlson for sex discrimination celebrates his departure
In a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York, Grossberg accused Carlson and Fox of sexism and harassment, alleging that his show’s workplace was replete with examples of misogyny. Her lawsuit claims, among other things, that mocked-up photographic images depicted then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “in a bathing suit revealing her cleavage” and that staffers were polled — on two separate occasions — on which of two female candidates for Michigan governor they would rather have sex with.
“Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News is, in part, an admission of the systemic lying, bullying, and conspiracy-mongering claimed by our client,” said Tanvir Rahman, one of Grossberg’s lawyers, in a statement Monday afternoon. “Mr. Carlson and his subordinates remain individual defendants in the S.D.N.Y. case and we look forward to taking their depositions under oath in the very near term.”
Fox also booted the senior executive producer of Carlson’s show, Justin Wells, who also is named as a defendant in that lawsuit.
Carlson began his media career in the 1990s, writing for The Weekly Standard and other publications. He was a CNN commentator from 2000 to 2005 and a co-host of the network’s prime-time news debate program Crossfire from 2001 to 2005. From 2005 to 2008, he hosted the nightly program Tucker on MSNBC. In 2009, he became a political analyst for Fox News, appearing on various programs before launching his own show. In 2010, Carlson co-founded and served as the initial editor-in-chief of the right-wing news and opinion website The Daily Caller, until selling his ownership stake and leaving in 2020. He has written three books: Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites (2003), Ship of Fools (2018), and The Long Slide (2021)