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Controversial TV Host Tucker Carlson Leaving Fox News

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Fox News Media and controversial host Tucker Carlson have “agreed to part ways”, the media company has said.

The announcement comes less than a week after parent company Fox Corp agreed to pay $787.5m (£630m) to Dominion Voting Systems to avert a defamation trial.

The trial would have put one of the world’s top media companies in the crosshairs over its coverage of false vote-rigging claims in the 2020 US election.

Carlson had been expected to testify in the Dominion trial.

The voting systems company had alleged that statements made on Carlson’s show after the 2020 election were defamatory.

The Denver-based company added that messages between Carlson and his team were proof that they knew the falsehood of claims that their ballot-counting machines were used to manipulate the election in favour of Joe Biden.

In the messages, which were revealed as part of the lawsuit, Carlson acknowledged that claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election were baseless.

In a message from 4 January 2021, Carlson said he “passionately” hated former president Donald Trump.

There has been no immediate explanation from Fox about why Carlson is leaving.

The network has said his last programme was on Friday.

“Fox News Tonight” will air live at 8pm EST (1am Tuesday UK time) starting this evening as an interim show helmed by rotating Fox News personalities until a new host is named, the network added.

“We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” the press release from Fox News said.

Carlson became Fox’s most popular personality after replacing Bill O’Reilly in Fox’s prime-time line-up in 2016.

Carlson established himself as one of the most influential figures in a conservative political coalition reshaped by Trump.

He regularly drew controversy for incendiary statements about race, LGBTQ rights and other topics.

In March this year, Carlson came under fire from Republicans when he described the deadly riots on the US capitol on 6 January 2021 as “mostly peaceful chaos”.

The stock price of Fox Corp., the parent company of Fox News, dropped sharply after Carlson’s departure became public, dipping more than 4%.

Fox News is facing other lawsuits related to statements presenters made in the wake of the 2020 election.

The network is also being sued by Abby Grossberg, a former producer for Carlson who alleges the company is a hotbed of discrimination and misogyny.

Fox has disputed Grossberg’s claims.