Don Lemon and Tucker Carlson are leaving on the SAME DAY! I'm absolutely speechless.
Updated: Apr 25
NO I'm not. I'm never speechless. Nope, never without an opinion or at a loss for words. BECAUSE I'm TOM F-CKING SPRITZLER!
Tucker's going out strong. Sure, he frequently goes off the reservation and talks like a mental patient, but 80% of the time, he's hilarious and often "spot on". He's also the most-watched newscaster on network news. Not only that, but he's the most watched dude by Democratic-leaning viewers(see link...no, I can't explain that).
Lemon? Is a massive pain in the ass who's honestly a huge jackass. & sadly doesn't have the ratings. Goodby.
Now let's discuss the Elephant in the room. No, I'm not going anywhere. I am firmly at the helm of the Spritzler Report, and while I'm not above pandering to our sponsors, I will not be censored or shown the door! Are you listening?
Papa Bear had some interesting points to add. I know, he's kind of a scum bag...but I'm in no position to throw rocks. Read the Spritzler Report lately?
Fox News Ousts Tucker Carlson
Fox takes issue with host’s private remarks that were derogatory toward colleagues
By Joe Flint, Isabella Simonetti and Keach Hagey, WSJ
Updated April 24, 2023 10:32 pm ET
Fox News parted ways with prime-time host Tucker Carlson, a surprising move that comes after he made disparaging remarks about colleagues at the network that were disclosed during a legal battle with a voting-machine company.
Mr. Carlson’s departure puts an end to a decade-plus tenure at the conservative news network during which he rose to become the highest-rated host in prime-time cable news.
Mr. Carlson, whose contract was renewed in 2021, will be paid out for the rest of his contract, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Carlson is paid about $20 million a year, one of the people said. Mr. Carlson found out he was being let go about 10 minutes before the network announced his departure, the people said.
Lachlan Murdoch, the chief executive of Fox News parent Fox Corp., FOX -2.95%decrease; red down pointing triangle and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott decided on Friday Mr. Carlson would leave the network, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Mr. Carlson’s exit creates another high-profile opening in a cable-news landscape where familiar faces have been leaving over the past year-and-a-half. Also on Monday, CNN parted ways with Don Lemon, who had left his 10 p.m. prime-time perch to co-anchor the network’s new morning show, a move that has failed to generate strong ratings.
Fox News on Monday said that Mr. Carlson’s last show was on Friday, April 21, and that it would rely on a rotation of hosts until it names a permanent anchor for the 8 p.m. program.
Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade anchored the show on Monday night. In opening remarks, Mr. Kilmeade acknowledged Mr. Carlson’s departure and said he was “great friends with Tucker.”
Fox’s decision to let Mr. Carlson go comes less than a week after Fox Corp. agreed to pay $787.5 million to settle its legal battle with Dominion Voting Systems, which had accused Fox’s news networks of airing false claims by hosts and guests that Dominion helped rig the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election in favor of Joe Biden. Mr. Carlson had been expected to testify during the trial.
Fox Corp. and News Corp, the parent of The Wall Street Journal’s publisher, share common ownership. Fox shares fell 3% Monday.
Private messages sent by Mr. Carlson to colleagues were made public in the legal proceedings of the Dominion defamation suit. In some, Mr. Carlson mocked claims made on air by guests, said he hated former President Donald Trump and complained about colleagues and Fox executives.
In a private text-message exchange about two weeks after Election Day, Mr. Carlson and fellow prime-time hosts Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity complained about the network’s news coverage, including the fact that the network was the first to call the key state of Arizona for Mr. Biden on the night of the election—a decision that angered some core Fox News viewers.
“We devote our lives to building an audience and they let Chris Wallace and Leland f—ing Vittert wreck it,” Mr. Carlson wrote, according to one document, referring to two then-members of Fox’s newsroom. Mr. Wallace is now at CNN and Mr. Vittert is a reporter at NewsNation.
“Do the executives understand how much credibility and trust we’ve lost with our audience?” Mr. Carlson wrote in another text message to a colleague, according to court documents.
Fox took issue with remarks Mr. Carlson made that were derogatory toward the network, people familiar with the matter said. Much of the communications were redacted in court documents but became known internally to senior Fox management, they said.
Mr. Carlson also complained to a colleague when a Fox News reporter fact-checked one of Mr. Trump’s tweets that mentioned Dominion: “Please get her fired,” Mr. Carlson told fellow Fox News host Sean Hannity, according to a court filing. “It’s measurably hurting the company.”
Before the Dominion suit was settled, Superior Court Judge Eric Davis had already concluded that Fox News and Fox Business did in fact broadcast false claims about Dominion, voiced by both network hosts and Trump associates. In a statement announcing the settlement, Fox acknowledged the judge’s findings.
Court documents also revealed Mr. Carlson’s feelings about Mr. Trump. In a text message exchange from January 2021, Mr. Carlson said the network was “very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights,” and said “I hate him passionately,” referring to the former president.
Mr. Carlson recently drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for airing a segment that showed previously unaired footage of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Mr. Carlson said that lawmakers had intentionally overstated the violence. “The footage does not show an insurrection or a riot in progress” in the Capitol, Mr. Carlson said during an early March show.
Mr. Carlson is a defendant in a lawsuit filed last month by Abby Grossberg, a former producer for Mr. Carlson and Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. The suit, which also names Fox and other individuals, said, “Mr. Carlson’s derogatory comments towards women, and his disdain for those who dare to object to such misogyny, is well known on the set” of his show. Fox News fired Ms. Grossberg shortly afterward, saying she filed her complaint without taking steps to protect “portions containing Fox’s privileged information.” Ms. Grossberg’s lawyers described her firing as retaliatory.
In a statement Monday following news of Mr. Carlson’s ouster, Ms. Grossberg’s lawyers said: “Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News is, in part, an admission of the systemic lying, bullying, and conspiracy-mongering claimed by our client.”
Mr. Carlson had no comment on the lawsuit. Fox at the time said it hired independent outside counsel to investigate the concerns raised by Ms. Grossberg.
Fox has lost a series of prominent hosts in recent years, including Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly—both of whom were succeeded by Mr. Carlson, who went on to become cable news’ highest-rated prime-time host. Prime-time shows get the biggest share of the audience for Fox and other cable channels, and are a key driver of the network’s advertising business.
Mr. Carlson began his career in print, writing for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the conservative Weekly Standard magazine. He rose to national prominence as the co-host of the CNN show “Crossfire,” where he represented the political right until the show’s cancellation in 2005, and had a memorable run-in with then-“Daily Show” host Jon Stewart. He also had a stint on MSNBC and co-founded the conservative site the Daily Caller.
During his prime-time tenure at Fox News, Mr. Carlson became a lightning rod for frequently making controversial remarks. In a recent show, Mr. Carlson suggested that Justin Pearson, one of the Tennessee lawmakers protesting for stricter gun control, probably got into an elite college because he was a Black man.
Mr. Carlson also lamented changes made by candy giant Mars Inc. to different M&M mascots, including the decision to switch the green M&M’s footwear from boots to sneakers. In 2018, he faced an advertising boycott after saying on air that certain immigrants were making the U.S. “dirtier and more divided.” Fox blamed the boycott of Mr. Carlson on advocacy groups that called out brands for advertising on the network.
Besides his nightly presence on Fox News, Mr. Carlson is also prominent on Fox Nation, the news channel’s direct-to-streaming service. He has hosted specials and investigative reports on the platform.
Write to Joe Flint at Joe.Flint@wsj.com, Isabella Simonetti at firstname.lastname@example.org and Keach Hagey at Keach.Hagey@wsj.com
Don Lemon Is Out at CNN
One of the network’s most recognizable faces, he has drawn criticism for Nikki Haley comments
By Alyssa Lukpat and Isabella Simonetti, WSJ
Updated April 24, 2023 4:04 pm ET
Don Lemon and CNN are parting ways after 17 years.
CNN Chairman and Chief Executive Chris Licht said in a companywide email on Monday that Mr. Lemon was departing the network.
He didn’t give a reason why Mr. Lemon was leaving. Mr. Lemon taped his last show on Monday morning.
“Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years. We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors,” Mr. Licht said in the email.
The move comes two months after Mr. Lemon drew criticism on “CNN This Morning” for saying Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley wasn’t in her prime.
“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN,” the 57-year-old news anchor said Monday on Twitter. “I am stunned.”
Mr. Lemon likely will be paid out for the remainder of his contract, a person familiar with the matter said.
His departure is the third significant media-industry staffing change in two days. Fox News said Monday that Tucker Carlson, the network’s highest-rated prime-time host, taped his final show last week. NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast Corp., said on Sunday that its chief executive, Jeff Shell, was departing after an investigation into a complaint of inappropriate conduct.
Mr. Lemon has been one of CNN’s most recognizable faces in recent years. He joined the network in 2006 as a reporter and in 2014 began anchoring the prime-time show “Don Lemon Tonight.” He switched to the morning side in November to co-host “CNN This Morning,” working out of the network’s New York bureau.
Don Lemon, who started at CNN in 2006 as a reporter, became a co-host of “CNN This Morning” in November. PHOTO: EVAN AGOSTINI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
He had a brief and controversial run on the morning show. He agreed to participate in formal training and went off the air for several days in February after he made the comments about Ms. Haley. He and his co-anchors had been discussing Ms. Haley’s calls to test politicians for mental competency once they are older than 75.
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Ms. Haley’s campaign sought to take advantage of Mr. Lemon’s departure by pushing out a fundraising email to supporters. “Don Lemon was just fired,” the email said, offering a “Past My Prime?” can cooler in exchange for a $7 contribution. “It’s a great day for women everywhere!”
In Mr. Lemon’s statement, he thanked his colleagues but also said there were “larger issues at play” regarding his departure, without offering specifics.
“After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly,” Mr. Lemon said Monday. “At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network.”
CNN disputed Mr. Lemon’s statement, saying the network offered him an opportunity to meet with its management but he instead released a statement on Twitter.
One of Mr. Licht’s deputies contacted Mr. Lemon’s agent and said the network no longer wanted his services at CNN, a person familiar with the matter said. The deputy also offered Mr. Lemon a meeting with human resources and Mr. Licht, the person said.
“CNN This Morning,” which launched in November, was down more than 23% in ratings in the first quarter as of late March, compared with its predecessor, “CNN New Day,” during the same period last year, according to Nielsen.
“CNN This Morning” had drawn 359,000 viewers, compared with 844,000 for MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and more than 1.2 million for “Fox & Friends,” according to Nielsen data. Including simulcasts on the HLN channel, “CNN This Morning” had drawn 438,000 viewers in the period, the network said.
“CNN This Morning has been on the air for nearly six months, and we are committed to its success,” Mr. Licht said in his companywide email Monday.
The network launched “CNN This Morning” in a bid to overhaul its morning lineup with one of its most prominent anchors, Mr. Lemon, at the helm. The show was the first major program Mr. Licht added to CNN’s lineup since he was tapped early last year by CNN’s new owner, Warner Bros. Discovery Inc., WBD -1.62%decrease; red down pointing triangle to run the network. He has indicated he wanted to change the perception that CNN’s political coverage was too partisan.
David Zaslav, chief executive of Warner Bros. Discovery, has also said he wants CNN to return to its straight-news roots.
Mr. Lemon is the latest high-profile journalist to leave CNN in the past 12 months, following Brian Stelter, the network’s chief media correspondent, and White House correspondent John Harwood.
Earlier Monday, a Fox News spokeswoman said Mr. Carlson was leaving the network. His departure comes less than a week after Fox News parent Fox Corp. agreed to pay $787.5 million to settle its legal battle with Dominion Voting Systems. The voting-machine company had accused Fox’s news networks of airing false claims by hosts and guests that Dominion helped rig the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election in favor of Joe Biden.
Fox News didn’t say why Mr. Carlson was leaving. Fox Corp. shares common ownership with the parent of The Wall Street Journal’s publisher.
Write to Alyssa Lukpat at email@example.com and Isabella Simonetti at firstname.lastname@example.org