Tucker Carlson is leaving Fox Information within the wake of the Dominion settlement
Right-wing primetime anchor Tucker Carlson is leaving Fox News effective immediately, the cable network announced Monday.
The announcement came days after Fox News’ parent company settled Dominion Voting Systems’ $787.5 million defamation lawsuit. The company’s hosts were not required to speak or apologize for the lawsuit as part of the settlement, CNBC previously reported.
“FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” the company said in a statement Monday. “We thank him for his service to the network as a host and before that as a contributor.”
There will be no farewell for Carlson as his last program aired on Friday. Carlson had signed off on Friday and stated he would be back on Monday.
The company declined to comment beyond the release or whether Carlson was taken off the air in response to the Dominion defamation case.
Fox Corp. Class A shares are down about 4% on Monday.
Carlson, 53, was among the hosts and executives being questioned as part of the Dominion lawsuit. Several of his emails and texts were also part of the evidence released before the settlement. In addition, Dominion’s attorneys had listed about 20 episodes that had appeared on Fox’s networks as evidence of defamation, including Carlson’s.
Other hosts who were dropped and were part of the evidence included Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, as well as former host Lou Dobbs.
Dominion sued Fox and its networks, arguing that the networks “deliberately and falsely” blamed Dominion for the 2020 loss of former President Donald Trump to President Joe Biden by spreading unsubstantiated claims that the company’s machines were election-rigging had.
Carlson was among the top presenters behind the scenes to express disbelief and skepticism about comments made on the air, particularly from guests like pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell.
“It’s incredibly offensive to me. Our viewers are good people and they believe it,” Carlson said in a text message in the weeks following the election, court records show.
Dominion pointed to the decline in Fox’s audience following election night when the network called Arizona about Biden. Behind the scenes, Carlson and his fellow hosts expressed “the threat to them personally.” In a message to his producers on November 5, Carlson said, “We’ve worked really hard to build what we have. These f…ers destroy our credibility.
In the weeks following the election, Fox received Powell on the air, along with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, after which they repeated false claims that Dominion rigged the election.
And while Carlson Trump recently moderated Fox News in the last few weeks following his indictment in New York, Carlson had described Trump as “a demonic force” after Jan. 6, when a violent mob of Trump supporters raided the US Capitol.
While the Dominion lawsuit likely wouldn’t hurt Fox’s business — its stock has remained stable in recent months, showing hosts and executives’ skepticism about the allegations of voter fraud made on-air — it’s unclear what toll it will be on its programs and hosts would take .
Shortly after Smartmatic, another voting tech company, sued Fox for defamation in 2021, Dobbs’ weekday program on Fox Business was canceled. Dobbs is named as a defendant in the Smartmatic lawsuit, which is pending and is not scheduled to go to trial until 2025. At the time, Fox said the show’s cancellation was in the works before the lawsuit.
Carlson took over Bill O’Reilly’s prime time slot at Fox in 2017 after O’Reilly left the network amid controversy. O’Reilly has been accused of sexual harassment by several former Fox employees. He has denied the allegations.