Fox News on April 24 confirmed that it “parted ways” with popular primetime host Tucker Carlson, offering no explanation why. The same day Fox also announced Dan Bongino was leaving the channel, and CNN parted ways with Don Lemon.
For years, Carlson’s show had been among the most popular in all of cable television, often generating more than 3 million viewers per episode. In March, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” drew the highest audience on cable television, averaging 3.251 million viewers per show, according to Nielsen data.
His ratings also spiked in early March when he aired never-before-seen footage of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach.
Carlson’s segments that were published on Fox News’s YouTube page would often generate millions of views each. For example, a recent post titled “Tucker Carlson: The Biden admin is incentivizing bad behavior” netted more than 600,000 views in two days.
Carlson joined Fox News in 2009, first working as a contributor. Between 2012 and 2016, he served as the co-host of “Fox & Friends Weekend” before starting his primetime show a year later.
He soon became Fox’s most popular personality—eclipsing Sean Hannity, who comes on an hour later—after replacing Bill O’Reilly in Fox News’ primetime lineup. Before Fox News, he appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and PBS; he also co-founded the Daily Caller in 2010.
Also on April 24, now-former CNN host Don Lemon announced on Twitter that he was fired by CNN. Lemon also made a cryptic statement that reads: “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. It is clear that there are some larger issues at play.”
Last week, another popular Fox News host, Dan Bongino, announced via his podcast that he too is leaving Fox News.
“The show ending last week was tough. It’s not some big conspiracy theory, I promise you. There’s no acrimony,” Bongino said on April 20. “We just couldn’t come to terms on an extension. That’s really it.”
Fox News stated to several news outlets after Bongino’s departure: “We thank Dan for his contributions and wish him success in his future endeavors.” The company didn’t explain why it was parting ways with Bongino, who was a New York City Police Department official and U.S. Secret Service agent before entering the media business.