(CBrief) – Two more well-known Fox News hosts have told friends they fear they will be next on the chopping block after the network fired its top-rated talent, Tucker Carlson, a week ago.
Rolling Stone, citing sources within the network, reports that Jeanine Pirro and Maria Bartiromo have told colleagues and pals they are concerned they could be next to be shown the exit.
“According to people with knowledge of the matter, executives have recently held high-level discussions about Fox Business host Bartiromo’s future at the company. In recent years, the host became a mouthpiece for Trump, propping up conspiracy theories and peddling lies about the 2020 election,” Rolling Stone noted.
“Those falsehoods found their way into a Dominion Voting Systems filing in the company’s mega-lawsuit against Fox. The filing pointed to Bartiromo’s Nov. 8 interview with Trump-aligned attorney, Sidney Powell, to discuss ‘voting irregularities’ — on-air programming that contrasted sharply with the host’s Dominion deposition statements, in which Bartiromo said the email underpinning Powell’s claims was ‘nonsense,’” the outlet noted further.
Last month, Fox agreed to settle Dominion’s defamation lawsuit for an eye-watering $787.5 million. The ballot software company had sought more than $1 billion in damages.
One of the sources familiar with the matter stated that Pirro, a vocal Trump advocate whose assertions about election fraud were cited by Dominion in their legal documents, has also been expressing concerns to close associates about the possibility of being fired, the report said.
“It’s not just hosts who are anxious. Other sources at and close to the network say that, in the wake of Carlson’s ouster, some Fox brass have grilled certain staff about whether they or their teams had recently blabbed to the press about Carlson’s abrupt dismissal,” Rolling Stone added.
Several Fox News staffers have taken additional precautions to protect their communications with outside media after a series of leaks related to Carlson, the outlet claimed. The leaks have continued despite efforts to stop them, leading some employees to change journalist contacts to fake names in case they receive a call while in the presence of management or others who might report their activities.
One employee referred to such people as “spies,” suggesting they were actively looking to report colleagues’ alleged infractions to upper management, Rolling Stone noted further.
The firing came as Carlson had been negotiating a new contract that would have reportedly kept him at the network through 2029, according to an Independent report. It’s still not clear why the network let Carlson go, but a growing number of reports have quoted sources who believe it was related to subjects Carlson was covering on his show that made upper management nervous.
During an interview with Chris Cuomo of News Nation last week, Bill O’Reilly — the former Fox News host who previously occupied the coveted primetime 8 PM time slot — argued that he believes Carlson was fired because the network is facing a slew of lawsuits related to the 2020 election.
Fox News just settled a lawsuit with Dominion and agreed to pay out a whopping $787 million. The network also has an ongoing lawsuit filed by former Fox News booker Abby Grossberg.
“Because the pending litigation was harpooned this morning. Carlson didn’t know. It just happened. And that’s the nature of television news, the most wicked industry in the United States of America,” O’Reilly said.
“Tucker Carlson took over from me. For the first three years, his ratings were soft. He lost about a million, maybe a little bit more of my audience, and then in 2020 he took a hard right turn,” O’Reilly said. “Carlson basically programmed for a very hard right audience, and his numbers came up.”
Soon after news of Carlson’s firing, reports shed light on who made the final decision to cut ties with the top host.
A new report reveals that Lachlan Murdoch, the chief executive of Fox Corporation, and Suzanne Scott, chief executive of Fox News Media, decided on the Friday before Scott contacted him the following Monday to inform him of the network’s decision.