One day after he was named in a $2.7 million defamation lawsuit against Fox News, Lou Dobbs is reportedly out of a job.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the network canceled Lou Dobbs Tonight, which airs twice each night between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Fox Business Network. The final episode will air on Friday, the report noted, citing an unnamed representative of the network. Dobbs' program will reportedly continue without him, being renamed Fox Business Tonight with a series of substitute hosts.
Sources told the Los Angeles Times that Fox News was already discussing the idea of dumping Dobbs before the lawsuit was filed, as part of a larger programming shakeup.
"As we said in October, Fox News Media regularly considers programming changes and plans have been in place to launch new formats as appropriate post-election, including on Fox Business," the representative said in a statement. "This is part of those planned changes. A new 5 p.m. program will be announced in the near future."
Dobbs was named in a suit from the election equipment company Smartmatic, which was at the center of a number of alleged conspiracies regarding the 2020 presidential race. Allies of Donald Trump spread theories that the company had participated in a scheme to steal the win from him.
The outfit took aim directly at Fox News in its filing, naming Dobbs along with fellow on-air personalities Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro and regular guests Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. As NBC News reported, the suit outlined 13 instances in which a guest claimed that the company took part in a scheme to rig the election so that Trump would lose.
In a statement posted to their official website this week, CEO Antonio Mugica said that the allegations have caused significant harm to their business.
"Fox is responsible for this disinformation campaign, which has damaged democracy worldwide and irreparably harmed Smartmatic and other stakeholders who contribute to modern elections," Mugica said.A number of pro-Trump media outlets have walked back their allegations of election fraud aimed at both Smartmatic and another outfit, Dominion Voting Systems, after being threatened with lawsuits. The claims have come under sharp scrutiny, as the former president and his legal allies made a number of accusations and filed lawsuits across several states while making claims of widespread misconduct. Trump also continued making the claims while speaking at a rally on January 6, telling his supporters to fight back and imploring them to march to the U.S. Capitol, which was then attacked.