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Tucker Carlson out at Fox News

It seems difficult to believe, but Tucker Carlson is no longer with Fox News. The announcement was confirmed by the network on Monday.


It seems difficult to believe, but Tucker Carlson is no longer with Fox News. The network released this press statement midday on Monday

“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. Mr. Carlson’s last program was Friday April 21st. Fox News Tonight will air live at 8 PM/ET starting this evening as an interim show helmed by rotating FOX News personalities until a new host is named.”

To put it mildly, this appears to have been completely unexpected to anyone who isn't a Fox bigwig. There’d been no rumors about Carlson leaving Fox, making Monday’s announcement something of an earthquake in the world of cable news.

Indeed, by some accounts, as recently as Monday morning, the network was still promoting Carlson's program and an interview he was scheduled to air later that evening. On Friday night, which we now know was his final Fox broadcast, the far-right host told his audience, "We'll be back on Monday."

Evidently not.

Fox News has not yet specified the reason for the breakup, and a spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email from NBC News.

It's also worth noting for context that over the last couple of decades, Carlson has now parted ways with CNN, PBS, Fox and MSNBC (my employer).

It was a year ago this week when The New York Times published a detailed analysis on Carlson's on-air broadcasts, “A New York Times analysis of 1,150 episodes reveals how Tucker Carlson pushes extremist ideas and conspiracy theories into millions of households, five nights a week. He’s done so since the beginning, but the show has gotten darker.”

For now, it's unclear whether the controversial host will take his extremist ideas and conspiracy theories to another network, or whether Carlson has a different plan in mind.

But as the dust settles on the announcement, the timing of the developments stands out. It was seven weeks ago, for example, when the controversial host aired deceptive Jan. 6 footage after being granted exclusive access from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

More importantly, as NBC News noted, this comes on the heels of Fox agreeing to pay “nearly $800 million to Dominion Voting Systems to avert a high-stakes defamation trial that had cast a shadow over the future of the network.”

The Washington Post, in a report that has not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, added that it was Carlson’s comments about Fox management, as revealed in the Dominion case, "that played a role in his departure from Fox.”

What's more, it's not the only media news of note on Monday morning: Don Lemon confirmed, "I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN." Soon after, Semafor reported that Carlson’s executive producer, Justin Wells, is also out at the network.