Originally published April 24, 2023 9:12 am PDT
On Monday, a spokesperson for Fox News announced that Tucker Carlson, who has been a prominent prime-time host for the network, will be departing the network.
The media group will temporarily rely on a rotation of hosts to fill the 8 p.m. slot until a successor is named.
“Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” the network said, The Washington Post (WaPo) reports. “We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor. “
Tucker Carlson bid farewell to his viewers on Friday, April 21, marking the end of his stint as the 8 p.m. prime-time host for Fox News.
In an interim arrangement, the network plans to feature a rotating cast of Fox News personalities in the time slot, now renamed “Fox News Tonight,” until Carlson’s successor is identified, according to WaPo.
While Carlson initially joined Fox News as a contributor in 2009, he gained greater prominence during his tenure as co-host of the weekend show “Fox & Friends Weekend” from 2012 to 2016.
It was during his time in primetime, however, that Carlson rose to fame, surpassing 9 p.m. host Sean Hannity as the network’s most-watched host.
In 2022, his program “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was watched by an average of 3.32 million viewers, making it the most-watched show in cable news, with the highly-coveted 25-to-54 age demographic, the news outlet notes.
Carlson has yet to comment publicly on his exit, and the suddenness of his departure has reportedly taken his colleagues at Fox News by surprise.
In fact, one producer summed up the news succinctly: “Wow.”
Conservative media executive Steve Bannon said on Monday that while he appreciated a few of the other hosts on Fox, he said that Tucker “is really the reason to watch Fox.”
“With this, I don’t know [if] anybody needs to watch anything on the Murdoch empire,” he said, referring to Australian-born Chair of Fox Corporation and Executive Chairman of News Corp Rupert Murdoch, “because Tucker was the mainstay of the populous voice over at Fox.”
Democrat presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.) pointed to Carlson’s recent monologue on Fox about TV networks pushing a “deadly and ineffective” COVID-19 as a possible reason for the Tucker Carlson Tonight star’s departure.
“Fox fires @TuckerCarlson five days after he crosses the red line by acknowledging that the TV networks pushed a deadly and ineffective vaccine to please their Pharma advertisers,” he tweeted upon hearing the news.
“Carlson’s breathtakingly courageous April 19 monologue broke TV’s two biggest rules: Tucker told the truth about how greedy Pharma advertisers controlled TV news content and he lambasted obsequious newscasters for promoting jabs they knew to be lethal and worthless. For many years, Tucker has had the nation’s biggest audience averaging 3.5 million — 10 times the size of CNN. Fox just demonstrated the terrifying power of Big Pharma.”