Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson was fired after butting heads with network executives, a new report from the Wall Street Journal says.
People familiar with the matter told the outlet that the company’s lawyers informed Carlson that they had successfully managed to redact information from a court filing in Fox’s legal battle with Dominion Voting Systems, in which it was revealed that the controversial opinion host called a senior executive the c-word. But Carlson reportedly told colleagues that he wanted his private message about the executive to go public.
The private messages in which Carlson criticized management were a “major factor” in his firing, according to the Journal. In addition to the messages, Carlson reportedly complained about press coverage and was upset that Fox did not do more to protect him from negative stories about the Dominion case. He also had to reportedly be given an intermediary between himself and Fox’s communications department.
A spokesperson for Fox News declined to comment beyond its initial statement announcing Carlson’s firing.
On Monday, Fox released a statement that it was parting ways with Carlson, effective immediately.
“We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” the company said.
The release confirmed that Carlson’s last program aired on Friday and that “Fox News Tonight” would air live at 8 p.m. ET beginning Monday “as an interim show helmed by rotating Fox News personalities until a new host is named.” On Monday, the show was hosted by “Fox and Friends” co-anchor Brian Kilmeade.
“As you probably have heard, Fox News and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways,” Kilmeade said at the top of the show. “I wish Tucker the best. I’m great friends with Tucker and always will be.”
“Tucker Carlson Tonight” was one of the network’s top-rated programs.
Carlson was among the several network hosts who were questioned as part of the defamation lawsuit’s proceedings, a list that also included Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and former host Lou Dobbs.
In that process, a number of emails and text messages between Carlson and his colleagues were made public in March. Some of those exchanges put him in hot water for disparaging remarks made against former President Donald Trump. Carlson expressed disdain for the former president, saying, among other things, “I hate him passionately.” The messages were later brushed aside when Carlson claimed to “love Trump,” and while interviewing the former president in his high-profile sit-down on April 11, the two did not address the matter.
Still, Carlson has commonly been accused of spreading misinformation about the 2020 presidential election, among other conspiracy theories, and stoking extremist ideology that paved the way for the Jan. 6 insurrection on the Capitol.
Fox News’ parent company has since settled with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million.
Benjamin Lindsay contributed to this report