Host Tucker Carlson Was Abruptly Axed From Fox News on Rupert Murdoch’s Direct Orders, Here’s Why

Host Tucker Carlson Was Abruptly Axed From Fox News on Rupert Murdoch’s Direct Orders, Here’s Why
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Michael S. Schwartz; (Inset): John Shearer

The far-right host Tucker Carlson has been fired from Fox News following the direct orders of the chairman, Rupert Murdoch. The abrupt exit of the channel's most successful anchor, the 'ratings magnet,' was announced in April 2023. Although the decision to part ways was cited as mutual, something else prompted Murdoch to axe the "untouchable" Carlson. 

Image Source: Getty Images | Joe Raedle
Image Source: Getty Images | Joe Raedle

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"Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways," the network's official statement revealed. "We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor." The announcement added that the Monday 8 p.m. ET slot will see a rotation of other personalities until the network appoints a permanent substitute for Carlson. 

However, the 54-year-old was informed of his exit ten minutes before the channel officially announced it, per the Wall Street Journal. The decision to oust him came directly from the 92-year-old Fox owner, following some inputs from the news network's senior officials, reported the Los Angeles Times

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Murdoch's son and Fox Corp CEO, Lachlan Murdoch, and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott participated in the decision to fire Carlson. Although abrupt, the verdict to depart with the Fox's most popular host was a thought-through process. There were a number of reasons that backed Murdoch's firing order. 

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Previously, Carlson faced a lawsuit filed by Abby Grossberg, a former senior booking producer on Carlson's show. She alleged the television host of sexism and claimed of facing a hostile work environment. That aside, Fox News faced backlash about its coverage of the 2020 presidential elections. 


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Apparently, Carlson and his fellow hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham secretly mocked several guests who appeared on the channel's programs, including Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell, calling them 'liars'- while promoting their words and schemes to the audiences. 

"Sidney Powell is lying, by the way. I caught her. It's insane," Carlson allegedly wrote in a text message to Ingraham in 2020. Chairman Murdoch was also concerned by Carlson's "unfiltered" words on the Republican candidate. The former Fox host called Trump a "demonic force" and wrote messages to an unknown Fox employee that he hated Trump "passionately" around the January 6 riots, as reported by The Independent. 



"We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights," he said. "I truly can't wait." Carlson's exit from Fox News came after the network settled a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5m. The court filings featured a series of vulgar text messages from the former Fox host. 

Another possible reason that further strengthened Murdoch's decision to sack Carlson was his negative comments about Fox management revealed in the Dominion case. It may also have sealed his fate at Fox News. Although he joined the network in 2009 as a contributor, the political commentator soon became one of the most successful television hosts after landing his own show in 2016.



By June 2020, Tucker Carlson Tonight was one of the most-watched shows, attracting around four million viewers. However, his show was heavily criticized for amplifying racist, anti-immigrant, homophobic, and transphobic themes. "Mr. Carlson has constructed what may be the most racist show in the history of cable news – and also, by some measures, the most successful," wrote the New York Times.

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