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Carlson latest in string of high-profile Fox News oustings

NEW YORK (AP) — Tucker Carlson has been ousted by Fox News, where he hosted the conservative cable network’s most popular program. He is the latest high-profile Fox News personality to be forced out by the network, which just last week agreed to pay nearly $800 million to settle a lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems over false election claims. Here’s a look at other notable people who had a successful run at Fox before their abrupt departures.

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ROGER AILES

Ailes built Fox News Channel from scratch and ran it for nearly two decades, but he was ousted as chief executive in 2016 following allegations that he forced out a former anchor who rejected his sexual advances.

The blustery executive transformed the cable news business and simultaneously changed the national political conversation. Top-rated Fox News and Fox Business, which he also ran, provided a flashy television home for conservatives who felt left out of the media and enabled the rise of former President Donald Trump.

Ailes’ slogans — “fair and balanced” and “we report, you decide” — appealed to an audience that believed mainstream outlets didn’t live up to those promises.

Ailes’ downfall began with the filing of a lawsuit by news cohost Gretchen Carlson, who charged that he sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances and spoke out about a pervasive atmosphere of sexual harassment at Fox.

Ailes denied the charges, but 21st Century Fox hired a law firm to investigate, and eventually chairman Rupert Murdoch decided to fire him.

Reportedly, Ailes got a farewell payment of at least $40 million, though exact details were not given. He died at age 77, less than a year after his ouster.

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BILL O’REILLY

O’Reilly was a combative broadcast journeyman when Ailes hired him in 1996 and turned him into the opinionated star of the prime-time Fox News Channel lineup.

The 20-year run of “The O’Reilly Factor” and its high ratings came to define the bravado of the network, but the host was fired following an investigation into harassment allegations.

In his “no spin zone,” O’Reilly pushed a populist, conservative point of view and was quick to shout down those who disagreed with him.

The downfall of Fox’s most popular — and most lucrative — personality at the time began with a report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about disturbing encounters with O’Reilly. Dozens of his show’s advertisers fled within days.

O’Reilly denied any wrongdoing.

Since leaving Fox, O’Reilly has hosted a podcast and embarked on speaking tours. He is also one of the country’s most popular nonfiction authors. The books in his “Killing” historical series, including “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Reagan,” have consistently sold 1 million or more copies in hardcover.

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ERIC BOLLING

Bolling was cohost of the late-afternoon Fox News program “The Specialists” until he was let go in 2017, amid allegations he sent a lewd photo and text messages to three female colleagues.

He denied the accusations.

Bolling had joined Fox in 2008 after working as a commodities trader. He hosted the weekend show “Cashin’ In” on Fox Business.

A vocal supporter of Trump, Bolling wrote a 2017 op-ed accusing establishment Republicans of betraying the then-president with their version of a plan to overhaul the nation’s health system.

Since July 2021 he has hosted a weeknight program, “Eric Bolling The Balance,” on the conservative channel Newsmax TV.

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GLENN BECK

Beck quickly became a major network star when he was added to the Fox News Channel lineup in 2009, but after two years his show sunk in the ratings and suffered from an advertiser boycott.

His antic style was popular with tea party activists and he drew thousands of people to the National Mall in Washington in 2010 for what he called a “restoring honor” rally.

Some of Beck’s statements got him into trouble. After he said that then-President Barack Obama had “a deep-seated hatred for white people,” critics appealed to commercial buyers to spurn his program. More than 400 Fox advertisers told the company they did not want their commercials on Beck’s show.

In 2011, Beck told his audience that he was leaving Fox to build his own media network, TheBlaze. He has built a powerful brand through a daily radio show, best-selling books and personal appearances.

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