Tucker Carlson’s seat was still warm when it was hastily filled with his replacement for the Monday evening show, as Brian Kilmeade took over Fox News’ 8 p.m. hour following the bombshell news of Tucker Carlson’s exit from the network.
The “Fox & Friends” anchor briefly addressed Carlson’s departure at the top of the program, which was renamed “Fox News Tonight” instead of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“As you probably have heard, Fox News and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” Kilmeade said. “I wish Tucker the best. I’m great friends with Tucker and always will be. But right now, it’s time for ‘Fox News Tonight,’ so let’s get started.”
Fox News’ announcement on Monday morning took everyone by surprise, possibly even Carlson, whose popularity and high ratings rendered him invulnerable. “Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” the company said in a statement. “We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.”
Carlson left the show on April 21, the same day of the announcement, meaning he did not get the chance to say goodbye to viewers in a final episode. His many controversies finally caught up with him. He had been accused of spreading conspiracy theories regarding the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 insurrection that followed, although there is no certainty as to why exactly Rupert Murdoch eventually fired him, having just recently stated that Carlson had his full support. There is speculation that in fact, the lawsuit brought against Carlson by Abby Grossberg, a former Fox News producer, was the last straw for Murdoch. What gives credence to this particular theory is that Carlson’s senior executive producer, Justin Wells, has also been terminated, according to insiders.
Carlson was expected to testify in the recent defamation lawsuit between Fox Corp. and Dominion Voting Systems over said theories, along with others like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Maria Bartiromo, who had endorsed lies in public while acknowledging in private that they did not believe them.
Others speculate that after the revelations that Carlson’s private views about Donald Trump were drastically in contrast with what he spouted in public, he had lost credibility and was now damaged goods and must be terminated. While he offered full-throated support for Trump on his show, in private he stated that he “hated him passionately.” On the strength of this, it is believed that Ingraham and Hannity, who also cynically promoted false information knowing it to be untrue, may be next to be fired.