NEW YORK — Fox News said Monday it has “agreed to part ways” with Tucker Carlson, its popular and controversial host, less than a week after settling a lawsuit over the network’s 2020 election reporting.
The network said in a press release that the last program of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” aired Friday.
“We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” the press release from the network said.
Carlson became Fox’s most popular personality after replacing Bill O’Reilly in Fox’s prime-time lineup in 2016. He’s also consistently drawn headlines for controversial coverage, including most recently airing tapes from the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection to minimize the impact of the deadly attack.
There was no immediate explanation from Fox about why Carlson was leaving. A text message to Carlson seeking comment was not immediately returned.
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Carlson has long been a summer resident of Bryant Pond, and he told the Sun Journal in 2020 that he planned to spend much of his time in Maine after selling his house in Washington D.C.
He has weighed in on various Maine issues over the years, from a Bethel restaurant owner opening in defiance of Maine’s COVID-19 rules to the Central Maine Power corridor. In 2020, he targeted a freelance journalist from Belfast who was reporting on a story for the New York Times about the host. Carlson encouraged his viewers to find and share the reporter’s address.
Fox agreed last week to pay Dominion Voting Systems more than $787 million and acknowledged that some of its reporting following the 2020 election — which allowed former President Donald Trump’s aides to amplify false charges of election fraud — was incorrect.
But that reporting mostly concerned other shows, not Carlson’s. His name did come up during the case, primarily because of email and text messages that were revealed as part of the lawsuit.
Carlson and other Fox hosts were caught in private messages doubting their own network’s allegations about Dominion’s role in the supposed election fraud, while also being concerned that Fox was losing audience among Trump fans at the time. In some of them, Carlson privately criticized Trump, saying he hated him passionately.
A few weeks ago, Carlson devoted his entire show to an interview with Trump.
“Fox News Tonight” will air in Carlson’s 8 p.m. ET prime-time slot, hosted by a rotating array of network personalities, for the time being.
Bangor Daily News writer Paul Koenig contributed reporting.