Big changes are coming at Fox News, just a couple months before one of the biggest elections in recent memory!
The conservative-slanting political cable giant is experiencing a tumultuous time, all set in motion by former host Gretchen Carlson‘s sexual harassment lawsuit against now-former network boss Roger Ailes.
Now, the scandal has claimed another host on the network, and it’s perhaps an unlikely departure: effectively immediately, Greta Van Susteren is GONE.
Van Susteren, who had been at the network with her show On The Record for 14 years, was the one who bizarrely came to Ailes’ defense against Carlson in a rant about sexism back in July.
Without warning this morning — the same morning Fox officially settled Carlson’s lawsuit with an apology and a LOT of money — the network announced Van Susteren’s exit from her long-running 7:00 p.m. ET time slot on the cable leader.
Very inneresting timing…
In the network’s official announcement, no reason was given for Greta’s back out — but sources say a “financial disagreement” is what led to the departure.
For their part, Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine, the network’s new co-presidents, released a very short statement about her:
“We are grateful for Greta’s many contributions over the years and wish her continued success.”
Oh. Well then.
Effective immediately, longtime anchor Brit Hume will take over Greta’s time-slot, and he’ll be there at least through the election.
As for the real reason behind her departure, sources are saying Greta has what’s known as a “key man” clause in her contract, centered on Ailes.
As for Hume, Abernethy and Shine sounded pleased to get their man in the slot as they leave behind the pro-Ailes work of Van Susteren:
“As one of the best political analysts in the industry, Brit is the ideal choice to host a nightly political program while the most dynamic and captivating election in recent history unfolds. Having Brit at the helm of this show will enable Fox News to continue on track to have its highest-rated year ever as the network dominates the cable news landscape.”
And Hume himself released a statement on Tuesday as well, saying:
“I am happy to take on this assignment for the balance of this extraordinary election. My Fox News colleagues have set a high standard for political coverage which I’ll do my best to uphold. I’m honored to be asked.”
And with that, Fox News thrusts yet another old white guy into a primetime position.
Say what you want about Greta’s politics, at least she represented some diversity?! (Carlson, too!)
This is far from the end of the trouble for Fox, though — current host Andrea Tantaros has filed her own sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes and O’Reilly.
And Ailes is gearing up for his own defamation suit against New York Magazine for their coverage of the scandal. That one won’t directly affect Fox, per se, but public and salacious fallout could make everybody look really, really bad.
TL;DR — Abernethy and Shine are cleaning house of the pro-Ailes faction (bye, Greta), other current hosts are still looking for justice (hey, Tantaros), and still other hosts have a contract out allowing them to leave Fox now, too (what say you, O’Reilly and Hannity?).
And Greta, who one would expect might show a little solidarity with other women, instead goes full-Ailes and dies on her sword at Fox to prove it. Um… girl power?
Nothing like a little upheaval at the conservative cable giant just two months before the election, right?!
[Image via Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/WENN.]