On Monday, Fox News made a surprising announcement: their top-rated and controversial prime-time anchor, Tucker Carlson, would be departing from the network. The news came as a shock to many, as Carlson had become a household name with a loyal following for his unapologetic, often divisive commentary.
“Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” the network said in a statement. “We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.”
His last TV program was Friday 21 April, the statement added. His primetime slot will now be hosted by a series of interim hosts until a permanent replacement is found.
The short two-paragraph explanation provided no explanation for this sudden decision.
His unannounced departure from fox news has left many perplexed, as there were no prior indications of his exit.
As of Monday morning, the network was still airing promotions for his show, and Carlson himself had given no hint of his impending departure during his last appearance on Friday.
This surprise announcement came less than a week after Fox News reached a settlement in a high-profile defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems, in which several on-air personalities, including Carlson, were expected to testify.
On air, a Fox News anchor announced the departure with a tribute that thanked him “for his service to the network”.
His program made up four of the top ten rated programs on US cable TV, according to Nielson data for the week of 27 March to 2 April.
He was Fox News’ top-rated host, with more than three million viewers tuning in on an average night.