Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon have been fired from their respective US TV roles.
In a day of the long knives at US-based global news channels, the high-profile and controversial hosts have been let go.
Fox News released this typically brief statement about the departure of their highest-profile host:
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.
Before the launch of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson was co-host of Fox & Friends Weekend from 2012 through 2016.
Carlson previously served as an MSNBC host from 2005-2008 and also appeared on CNN earlier in his career. He founded The Daily Caller in 2010, but sold his stake in the political news website in 2020.
The statement also included this reminder of the power and reach of Fox News:
Fox News Media operates the Fox News Channel (FNC), Fox Business Network (FBN), Fox News Digital, Fox News Audio, Fox News Books, the direct-to-consumer streaming services Fox Nation and Fox News International and the free ad-supported television service Fox Weather. Currently the number one network in all of cable, FNC has also been the most-watched television news channel for more than 21 consecutive years, while FBN ranks among the top business channels on cable. Owned by Fox Corporation, Fox News Media reaches nearly 200 million people each month.
The move to replace Carlson comes just days after Fox News parent company Fox Corporation settled a lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems.
On the same day Carlson was pulled off air, so too was CNN’s Don Lemon.
In a very brief announcement, CNN said:
CNN and Don have parted ways. Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years. We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavours.
Lemon later commented:
“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned,” Lemon said.
“After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network,” he added.
In a brief follow-up, CNN added: “Don Lemon’s statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate. He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter.”
Regarding Carlson, Reuters reported:
The outspoken Carlson embraced conservative issues and delivered his views with a style that made his prime-time show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the highest-rated cable news program in the key 25-to-54 age demographic on the most-watched U.S. cable news network. Shares of Fox closed 2.9% lower on the news, which the company announced on Monday.
Regarding Lemon, The New York Times reported:
Hours before the duelling statements, Lemon, 57, appeared on air in his usual anchor chair on CNN This Morning, the show he had hosted since November with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. He showed no signs of anxiety and signed off to viewers with a smile and a friendly “Bye, everybody.”
Lemon had a reputation as a fiery political commentator during his eight years as a prime-time anchor. But inside the network, he began to lose support after he made remarks in February about women and aging that were widely perceived to be sexist.