Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly has condemned the network’s decision to fire Tucker Carlson, describing it as ‘a terrible move’, as Carlson’s stand-in praised his ‘great friend’.
Carlson, 53, was said to be stunned by the Monday morning phone call from CEO Suzanne Scott telling him he was being taken off air.
Kelly, who left the network in 2017 after 13 years, said losing their most-watched host was a bad decision.
‘This is a terrible move by Fox, and it’s a great thing for Tucker Carlson,’ said Kelly on her Sirius XM podcast.
‘I don’t know what drove Fox News to make this decision, and it was clearly Fox News’s decision because they’re not letting him say goodbye. That’s my supposition. That’s not inside knowledge.’
Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who now has her own podcast, condemned the decision to fire Tucker Carlson
Brian Kilmeade filled in for Carlson on Monday night. A rotating cast of hosts will fill in until a permanent replacement is found
The move wiped $500 million off the value of the parent company, News Corporation, and pushed the share price down 5.4 percent.
She added: ‘I think this is a massive error. I think this is a massive misjudgment of what their audience wants.’
Carlson was immediately taken off air, and replaced on Monday night by Brian Kilmeade.
‘Hi everybody, and welcome to Fox News tonight,’ Kilmeade said.
‘As you probably have heard, Fox News and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways.
‘I wish Tucker the best. I am great friends with Tucker and always will be.’
Carlson was reportedly not told why he was being fired.
Some speculated that it was for his part in the Dominion voting systems lawsuit, which saw Fox settle for $787.5 million.
The suit saw private messages reveal that Carlson hates Donald Trump ‘passionately’, making it awkward for the conservative network and the likely Republican presidential candidate. The messages also saw Carlson attack Fox leadership, which the Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal said was a significant factor in his firing.
Tucker Carlson, 53, was fired by Fox News on Monday. He was not given a reason for his ouster, but was reportedly told it was a decision made ‘from above’
Rupert Murdoch, seen in November 2019, is considering selling Fox News, sources told DailyMail.com, and felt the network was more attractive to buyers without Carlson
Some said Murdoch has had enough of the drama. Sources said Murdoch was looking to sell Fox News, and it was seen as more sellable without its firebrand anchor.
Another crucial factor is said to be a harassment and discrimination suit filed by Carlson’s former booking producer.
Kelly said she did not believe the Dominion case was a factor in Carlson’s firing.
She pointed out that he was less forthcoming in his support for claims the election was stolen, and refused to book Sidney Powell, Trump’s lawyer and the most strident proponent of the Dominion conspiracy theory.
Kelly said she had no fears for Carlson’s future, saying she expected him to start his own media company and ‘crush it’
Kelly said Rupert Murdoch ‘made enough admissions during his deposition to sink the company at the trial without the help from Tucker. Why would they want Tucker’s scalp? They would want Maria’s scalp.
‘They would want Jeanine Pirro’s scalp. They would want Suzanne Scott’s scalp.’
She predicted Carlson would set up his own media company, and ‘crush it’.
‘This is going to be great for Tucker. I’m not worried about Tucker at all,’ Kelly added.
‘I predict Tucker goes independent. Tucker launches a podcast or digital show and crushes it. Absolutely crushes it.’
Some have speculated that Carlson could turn his massive following into a potential political base, and try to run for elected office.
Kelly said she thought that was unlikely.
‘A lot of people think he’s going to run for office. I don’t think so. I just don’t think so. Tucker’s got way more influence sitting behind a microphone than he does standing on a debate stage,’ she said.
‘Tucker’s the only reason a lot of people still watch Fox News, with respect to my other colleagues there, I’m saying he’s their favorite.’