In Major Shake-up, Tucker Carlson Out at Fox, Don Lemon Fired by CNN
Two of the most iconic faces on cable news will be leaving their host networks.
Without explanation, Fox News said it has “agreed to part ways” with popular conservative host Tucker Carlson. And longtime CNN host Don Lemon revealed that he has been terminated.
Carlson had been the Fox network’s most popular prime-time host since he took over the slot previously held by Bill O’Reilly in 2016.
“We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” a press release from the network said.
The move comes shortly after Fox gave more than $787 million to Dominion Voting Systems to settle a lawsuit over the network’s coverage of the questions about irregularities in the 2020 election. But that suit did not involve Carlson, and his name did not come up during the case.
In a separate case, Carlson was recently named in a lawsuit filed by Abby Grossberg, a fired Fox News producer who had worked for Carlson and was extremely critical of the “work environment.” But it’s unclear if that case has anything to do with Carlson’s departure either.
Meanwhile, 17-year CNN veteran Don Lemon was fired a little over two months after making waves with on-air comments about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley and women in general.
In mid-February, Lemon had caused an uproar during a discussion on “CNN This Morning” about the ages of politicians. He said the 51-year-old Haley was not “in her prime,” and he went on to claim that a woman is only in her prime “in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s.”
Lemon later apologized saying he regretted his “inartful and irrelevant” comments, while Haley herself called the comments sexist. After the incident, Lemon was absent from the show for a few days and CNN chair Chris Licht had told staffers that Lemon would undergo “formal training.”
Lemon revealed Monday on Twitter that he was fired, saying he was stunned by CNN’s decision to oust him without even telling him directly. But the organization disputes Lemon’s characterization of the termination. “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,” CNN PR said in a tweet.
CNN did not provide a public explanation for Lemon’s departure, but Licht did issue a memo to staff. “CNN and Don have parted ways,” he said. “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 endeavors.”