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Fox Corporation stock suffered a massive dent in value less than a day after announcing the departure of longtime TV host Tucker Carlson.
Shares of Fox Corporation (NASDAQ: FOXA) declined 5% on Monday following Tucker Carlson’s exit. The mass media company previously announced that Carlson was leaving the Fox News network for his involvement in a string of controversies.
During the early trading session, Fox Corporation shed nearly a billion ($962 million) of its market value. However, the media syndicate’s Class A recovered marginally to trade at $32.65 at 1:32 pm Eastern Time (ET).
Fox and Tucker Carlson parted ways just days after the media group settled a mammoth $787 million Dominion lawsuit. The settlement is the largest of its kind in an American defamation case.
Dominion Voting Systems accused Fox News of disseminating election fabrications in the lawsuit. The electronic voting company also claimed that Carlson permitted debunked election-fraud claims regarding Dominion to air on his popular TV show. In addition to disseminating election lies on the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” show, the conservative political commentator also allegedly questioned the plausibility of Dominion’s denial in private messages. These messages, which emerged in legal filings, also exposed Carlson disparaging colleagues.
Another lawsuit filed in March against Carlson by his former top booker, Abby Grossberg, accused him of stoking sexism on his show. In addition to promoting a hostile working environment, Grossberg claimed that Fox coerced her testimony in the Dominion lawsuit. According to the TV producer, the network’s lawyers pressured her into providing misleading testimony in the case.
Fox News Announced the Departure of Tucker Carlson despite His Raving Popularity
Although Carlson had been one of Fox News’ most popular hosts, thanks to his widely watched politically charged TV show, the channel announced his departure on Monday, saying:
“FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and, prior to that, as a contributor.”
An inside source claimed that at least three senior Fox Corporation executives decided to drop Carlson on Friday evening. These included Fox Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch, his son, and Fox Corp chief executive officer Lachlan Murdoch, and Fox News chief executive Suzanne Scott. Meanwhile, Carlson, whose last appearance was Friday on his nighttime show, learned of his ousting via telephone Monday morning. According to a person with inside information, the embattled television personality and his team had spent the weekend crystallizing plans for summer shows.
Carlson had held the Fox News 8 pm time slot for his “Tucker Carlson Tonight” piece since April 2017. The political commentator joined Fox as a contributor in 2009, eventually rising through the ranks to earn his own show. According to the Washington Post, Carlson became the most-watched host in America, averaging 3.32 million total viewers. In addition, the TV host also attracted the most viewers in the coveted 25-54 age demographic.
Fox has yet to officially state a reason for its decision to dismiss Carlson and the show’s executive producer, Fox has yet to state a reason officially. Instead, the company said it would fill the 8 pm hour slot with a rotation of personalities until it names a new TV host.