Tucker Carlson & Fox News “Part Ways”

Tucker Carlson Fox News
Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson (screen capture)

The news industry was surprised this morning by the unexpected announcement that Fox News and its #1 primetime talking head, Tucker Carlson, have “agreed to part ways.”

This comes less than a week after Fox News ponied up a whopping $787.5 million to settle a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems. Carlson was a prominent figure in the case having helped spread misinformation about the voting machine company.

Prior to the trial, behind-the-scenes communications came to light wherein Carlson admitted he “passionately” hates Donald Trump. And yet, he promoted Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 election over and over.

The announcement from Fox News Media regarding Carlson’s departure was short, and none too sweet: “Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.”

From the New York Times:

Mr. Carlson was given no heads-up that his time at Fox News had drawn to an end, according to two people with knowledge of the timing of the conversation. The anchor was told of the network’s decision on Monday morning, and his senior executive producer, Justin Wells, was also out of a job.

Mr. Carlson, 53, had helmed his prime time show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” since 2016. In 2021, he signed a new deal with Fox News expanding into podcasts and a series called “Tucker Carlson Originals” for the streaming service Fox Nation.

Mr. Carlson is also facing a lawsuit from a former Fox News producer, Abby Grossberg, who claims that he presided over a misogynistic and discriminatory workplace culture.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting the order to fire Carlson came directly from Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch.

It’s ironic that Carlson’s final show on Friday ended with him casually scarfing down pizza, telling his viewers “we’ll be back on Monday.” Even his last statement to his audience was a lie.

Carlson inherited his plum 8pm weeknight time slot in 2017, when his show replaced Bill O’Reilly’s show after he was fired from the network.

The Times reports that Fox News plans to air a generic “Fox News Tonight” program in the time slot for now alternating different network talent as hosts.

It’s worth noting that last December, veteran LGBTQ journalist Michelangelo Signorile reported that Justin Wells, Carlson’s executive producer, is an out gay man.

According to Signorile, Wells ran “the entire Tucker Carlson operation, and is responsible for imprinting the Tucker Carlson brand, which is all about emboldening white heterosexual male grievance, furthering the racist conspiracy of ‘replacement theory’ and pushing an increasingly virulent anti-LGBTQ agenda.”

Carlson is apparently the first TV host to be fired by all three of the biggest cable news networks.