By Jack Phillips
Fox News on Monday confirmed that it “parted ways” with popular primetime host Tucker Carlson, offering no explanation why.
“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,” said a news release from the news channel.
The release said that his departure from the network is effective immediately. Carlson’s last show was on Friday, April 21. It means that Carlson will not have the opportunity to host a final Fox News show and bid his viewers farewell.
In Carlson’s place, “Fox News Tonight” will air starting at 8 p.m., a time slot that Carlson has held since April 2017. That will be “an interim show helmed by rotating FOX News personalities until a new host is named,” said Fox’s news release.
On Twitter, Carlson did not make any reference to his departure from the channel. During his final Fox News show on April 21, he told viewers—while eating pizza—that he will be back on Monday, suggesting that Monday’s development may have come as a surprise to Carlson.
For years, Carlson’s show had been among the most popular in all of cable television, often generating more than 3 million viewers per episode. In March, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” drew the highest audience on cable television, averaging 3.251 million viewers per show, according to Nielsen data.
His ratings also spiked in early March when he aired never-before-seen footage of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach, the Nielsen numbers show. In one of the clips aired on his show, it appeared to show “Q Shaman” Jacob Chansley being escorted by Capitol Police through the premises.
Carlson’s segments that were published on Fox News’s YouTube page would often generate millions of views each. For example, a recent post titled, “Tucker Carlson: The Biden admin is incentivizing bad behavior,” netted more than 600,000 views in two days.
Carlson joined Fox News in 2009, first working as a contributor. Between 2012 and 2016, he served as the co-host of “Fox & Friends Weekend” before starting his primetime show a year later.
He soon became Fox’s most popular personality—eclipsing Sean Hannity, who comes on an hour later—after replacing Bill O’Reilly in Fox New’s prime-time lineup. Before Fox News, he appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and PBS—and he also co-founded the Daily Caller, which was launched in 2010.
Also on Monday, former CNN host Don Lemon announced on Twitter that he was fired by CNN. Lemon also made a cryptic statement that “at no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network. It is clear that there are some larger issues at play.”
Last week, another popular Fox News host, Dan Bongino, announced via his podcast that he, too, is leaving Fox News.
“The show ending last week was tough. It’s not some big conspiracy theory, I promise you. There’s no acrimony,” Bongino said last Thursday. “We just couldn’t come to terms on an extension. That’s really it.” He added: “I really enjoyed myself there. They were good for me for ten years.”
“It’s a sad day. They did give me the opportunity to do one last show, I don’t want you to think they showed me the door,” he continued. “That’s on me, not on them, but I thought it was best to go this way for now.”
In a statement to several news outlets after Bongino’s departure, Fox News said: “We thank Dan for his contributions and wish him success in his future endeavors.” The company did not explain why it was parting ways with Bongino, who was a former New York City Police Department official and U.S. Secret Service agent before entering the media business.
On Friday, Carlson appeared at a Heritage Foundation event highlighting the conservative group’s 50th anniversary. After he gave a keynote speech, Heritage President Kevin Roberts told Carlson that “if things go south for Fox News, there’s always a job for you at Heritage.”
Carlson said in response, “You’ve saved me before.”
Other details about Carlson’s departure were not made public. The Epoch Times has contacted a Fox News spokesperson for additional comment.
After it was announced Carlson would be leaving the network, Fox Corporation’s stock dropped about 4 percent by midday trading.