Fox News Finally Finds A Bridge (Or Three) Too Far

Turns out that costing your employer nearly a billion dollars isn't good for your career.

[Area man out of a job]

Earlier today the news broke that Tucker Carlson has been fired by Fox News. And apparently the decision came straight from the top. The LA Times reports the following:

The network announced the departure of its top-rated and most provocative conservative prime-time host Monday with no explanation. His last show was Friday.

“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.”

A Fox News representative had no other details on Carlson’s exit. People familiar with the situation who were not authorized to comment publicly said the decision to fire Carlson came straight from Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch.

It appears that there are multiple reasons for the decision. According to the same article, a representative for Dominion Voting Systems states that the decision is not related to the $787.5-million settlement Fox News agreed to pay last week. However, I take that only to mean that Fox did not have to fire Carlson as a condition of the agreement. One thinks that playing a significant role in costing one’s company almost a billion dollars just might have had something to do with it.

The LA Times cites two other potential reasons: one lawsuit on the immediate horizon and a disagreement between Fox Corp. Chairman Rupurt Murdoch and Carlson.

Carlson’s exit is related to the discrimination lawsuit filed by Abby Grossberg, the producer fired by the network last month, the people said. Carlson’s senior executive producer Justin Wells has also been terminated, according to people familiar with the matter. A Fox News representative would not comment.

Murdoch is also said to be concerned over Carlson’s coverage of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, in which the host has promoted the conspiracy theory that it was provoked by government agents.

Carlson has called Ray Epps — a Texas man who participated in the storming of the Capitol but did not enter the building — an FBI plant, without presenting any evidence.

Epps was interviewed Sunday on “60 Minutes” and said he has been subjected to death threats as a result of Carlson’s statements about him. The FBI told “60 Minutes” that Epps has never worked for the agency.

Carlson has consistently had the highest-rated individually hosted show on Fox for the last few years, and is, as such a big money maker for the org. That said, helping create the conditions that led to one of the largest libel settlements in media history can take a little of the bloom off the rose.

Given that Carlson just signed a contract extension in 2021, Fox is going to take another financial hit with this decision. One thing to watch for will be if Carlson signed any non-compete clauses and how this decision will or will not impact them. I suspect that he will be paid a LOT of money to stay silent for the foreseeable future. Thank goodness Carlson has hobbies he can pursue in the meantime like:

Speaking of lemons, it turns out today isn’t a good day to be a cable news personality. Not willing to be one up’ed by their competition, CNN also decided today was the day to fire Don Lemon. Accounts on that decision vary on who you ask.

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Humor, Law and the Courts, Media, Popular Culture, , , , , , , , ,
Matt Bernius
About Matt Bernius
Matt Bernius is a design researcher working to create more equitable government systems and experiences. He's currently a Principal User Researcher on Code for America's "GetCalFresh" program, helping people apply for SNAP food benefits in California. Prior to joining CfA, he worked at Measures for Justice and at Effective, a UX agency. Matt has an MA from the University of Chicago.


  1. Lounsbury says:

    Nearly a billion and several more on the way.

    And it seems he wasn’t following the orientations on being more prudent…

    One must keep in mind the news company is just a subsidiary of a larger entity not focused on the news nor politics, and the family trust has its own internal votes.

    If someone is heavily responsible for wiping out actually and potentially several years of profits and dragging down the non-news stock value, and also is showing signs of not getting the message of who the real bosses are…

  2. gVOR08 says:

    Somebody prominent had to go under the bus: Hannity, Carlson, Rupert, or Lachlan. And Rupert and Lachlan got to choose.

  3. Kylopod says:

    Rule of thumb: The stated explanation for a TV personality getting canned is never the true reason, just the final straw. I’m betting they’ve been gunning for his exit for a while now.

  4. Kathy says:


    I vote we let the bus choose for the next big payoff in the pending defamation lawsuits.

  5. CSK says:

    Given that Fox was only this morning promoting the Carlson show (an interview with with Vivek Ramaswamy) to air tonight, whatever happened took place very quickly.

  6. Hal_10000 says:

    Boy, 2023 is turning out to be a year of consequences for a lot of these dopes. Looking forward to the results of the lawsuits against Gateway Pundit and D’Souza.

  7. CSK says:

    Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon have retained the same lawyer, Bryan Freedman. I gather from that that Carlson didn’t leave willingly.

  8. Modulo Myself says:

    The conservative establishment likes to pretend everything is great, like they could not possibly be happier getting angry about how They are forcing you to get vaccinated and They are brainwashing your kids to change their gender. But the reality behind all of the rhetoric matches the text messages in the lawsuit.

    And it may not be worth the cost. Fox is paying Tucker millions when they get the same result with a random twitter account. They’ve been watching DeSantis tank plus this lawsuit plus the fact that most Americans who have social lives don’t relate to people attacking cases of Bud Light in grocery stores. These guys are not winners and they are not confident. Ron DeSantis is a short little creep no different than Ben Shapiro and he is their chosen guy. Strip the veneer of taking on the woke establishment and they are Anita Bryant blathering about gay people to a bunch of addled old whites.

    At 800 million a pop it’s not worth it.

  9. CSK says:


    The Gateway Pundit defense will be the same as the Sydney Powell defense: “But no sane person takes us seriously!”

  10. Kathy says:

    I’m missing something.

    Where’s the wingnut outrage that Carlson* was cancelled?

    Or maybe that’s just not a thing any more.

    *I also think his first name is spelled with an F.

  11. mattbernius says:


    I gather from that that Carlson didn’t leave willingly.

    I suspect this was unexpected–at least in terms of timing. Again the biggest question is what, of any, non-compete contacts are in place.


    Where’s the wingnut outrage that Carlson* was cancelled?

    FWIW, it’s already happening on Twitter. Lots of talk of cancelling Fox News or cable subscription based on this.

  12. Kathy says:


    I never really took to Twitter. And since the Mars Emperor God of Phobos took over, I’m even less into it.

  13. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: The rage is wonderful. And since Musk is prioritizing blue checks in responses, you just get to bask in the rage and angry tears.

    (Also, you’ve used Emperor God and God Emperor at different times — I think God Emperor works better, as it’s a fun Dune reference, plus I could really see Musk bonding himself to a sand worm)

  14. Kathy says:


    I kind of mix the words god, emperor, Mars, and, of, the, and Phobos as the mood strikes.

    It makes no logical sense, but then neither does Elon.

  15. ptfe says:

    I stayed at a hotel this weekend and was sick by how much Fox News is a Signifier. If you walk into a hotel lobby with CNN or Bloomberg or ESPN, they are making no statement. If they have Fox on, the statement is bold and loud and underlined. And if Fox is on in the lobby, it’s on everywhere in a joint – dining room, fitness center, wherever the asshole who loves Fox can put it on.

    Already, to the original post, f- that guy, but also continue to f- that guy’s former network. Just a pile of losers and assholes battling over grifted wealth.

  16. Lounsbury says:

    @Modulo Myself: the “Conservative Establishment” was not making decisions or other such abstractions. Rather Rupert Murdoch and by extension the voting members of the Murdoch Family Trust that controls the overall Fox Corp shareholder majority. While the political junkies are looking at this purely view news and politics lens, Fox News was just one piece of value in Fox Corp and a now impaired piece of value, given the likelihood of years of profits being wiped out. And the Talent of Fox News seem not to have gotten the message their short-term rating chasing interests were/are impairing other longer-term interests.

  17. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    Latest reporting says that the fish stick heir got fired from his third major cable network because of the sexist atmosphere amongst the staff of his show.
    And apparently the woman suing them for discrimination has receipts.

  18. Kylopod says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl: I’ve had suspicions that something like that was a factor for a while. That would suggest his firing had more in common with that of his predecessor O’Reilly (and, for that matter, Don Lemon) than most people have supposed.

  19. Chris says:

    Oh the horror… toxic-torch bearing-frat-man-boys are not even safe at Fox! (There are hordes of viewers wanting to pick up their pitch forks right now!) As for me, I’ll only take solace when Rubert Murdoch’s empire blows up like the Death Star.

  20. Raoul says:

    Murdock is probably jealous Brian Cox is getting all the attention. But let’s be real, Carlson represented an ongoing liability.

  21. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Worth noting that Carlson’s executive producer got the heave-ho too. I’m going with the accumulated HR complaints coupled with increasingly vocal criticisms of those running the whole FOX shebang. Rolling Stone has an article up today saying that FOX has an “oppo research” on him file in case Carlson wants to get whiny about the whole thing. Yeah, it looks like Carlson wore out his welcome on the desk. Couldn’t happen to a nicer flunky.

  22. Gavin says:

    The other fun tidbit is Rupert’s actually not One With The Fundigelicals

    None of these are enough individually. But they add to a collection of straws no camel can carry.

    It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.