Former Fox primetime host Tucker Carlson privately told allies he believes the family of owner Rupert Murdoch dismissed him because they are planning to eventually sell the media empire, according to a report by Vanity Fair.
After finding out Monday that he was to be delivering his final broadcast that evening at the 8 p.m. hour, Carlson told a source that Lachlan Murdoch, who according to media reports made the final decision to nix his show, eventually plans to part ways with the company his father co-founded alongside Roger Ailes. Carlson said CEO Suzanne Scott, who informed Carlson of his firing, refused to explain the reason for Murdoch’s decision.
A shareholder in Fox News sued Rupert Murdoch and four board members earlier this month, saying leadership failed to prevent Carlson and other company representatives from repeating “falsehoods” about the 2020 election. The suit added to at least three others the company is facing following its record-breaking $787 million agreement reached with Dominion Voting Systems to settle a defamation case related to how the company’s machines performed in the 2020 election. Bill O’Reilly, who previously led the ratings for Fox, speculated that mounting legal pressure on the Murdochs forced their hand in firing Carlson despite his show attracting a nightly audience of three million viewers.
In addition to the lawsuits, one of which was filed by a former producer for Carlson’s show, network executives apparently had enough of Carlson’s repeated criticisms of Fox’s leadership in text messages uncovered as part of the suit by Dominion. In private, Carlson dragged his bosses for acquiescing to pressure to call the 2020 election for Joe Biden and added they were comprised of “a combination of incompetent liberals and top leadership with too much pride to back down is what’s happening.”
Representatives for Newsmax and One America News Network have both expressed interest in sitting down with Carlson to discuss future career moves. Speculation has also mounted that Carlson could make a credible run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.