Eric Bolling and the Fox News Channel have officially agreed to part ways, and the show he was anchoring is being removed from the schedule.
Pending an investigation by a law firm that handled other similar inquiries, the network suspended Bolling in early August after allegations surfaced that he sent unsolicited lewd text messages to female colleagues.
A Trump loyalist, Bolling formerly held down the center chair on The Five ensemble and also anchored Cashin’ In on Saturdays. He stayed behind to co-host the Fox News Specialists after The Five moved from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time following the shake-up attendant to the cancellation of The O’Reilly Factor.
Along with Bolling’s departure, FNC has cancelled the Fox News Specialists, which suffered from low ratings and a general lack of chemistry among the co-hosts.
Media industry observers also maintained that many of the so-called specialists were merely contributors that rotated through the Fox News lineup. Co-hosts Eboni Williams and Kat Timpf will remain with FNC as contributors. For now, the time slot will feature general news coverage with fill-in anchors.
Fox News released a statement about Eric Bolling’s employment status today, Variety reported.
“Fox News Channel is canceling The Specialists, and Eric Bolling and Fox have agreed to part ways amicably. We thank Eric for his ten years of service to our loyal viewers and wish him the best of luck.”
Bolling’s exit may have provided a convenient way to cut bait with The Specialists. Industry scuttlebut holds that Fox News is prepping a prime-time show for pro-Trump conservative commentator Laura Ingraham.
If this plan comes to fruition, media industry observers presume that Ingraham would take over the 9 p.m. slot. If so, that likely means that The Five would go back to its original 5 p.m. platform where it thrived as a surprise hit. The Five was originally conceived as a temporary placeholder when Glenn Beck left to form his own network.
Separately, the Fox News parent company today reinstated Fox Business Channel host Charles Payne, who also was put on a suspension in connection with sexual harassment allegations.
Eric Bolling has denied the allegations against him and filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against the reporter who originally broke the story. No information has yet emerged as to what kind of financial settlement, if any, Fox News reached with Eric Bolling to facilitate the amicable split. According to The Hollywood Reporter, while his TV career was on hold, Bolling’s books sales for The Swamp suffered significantly after five weeks on the best-sellers list.
A former commodities trader and minor leaguer in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, Eric Bolling worked for CNBC and the Fox Business Channel before moving over to Fox News.
Added: Tragic news broke on Saturday that Eric Bolling’s son Eric Chase, 19, a University of Colorado student, reportedly committed suicide in Boulder, Colorado.
[Featured Image by Richard Drew/AP Images]