Fox News Media has canceled Lou Dobbs Tonight, Fox Business Network’s highest-rated program.
“As we said in October, Fox News Media regularly considers programming changes and plans have been in place to launch new formats as appropriate post-election, including on Fox Business – this is part of those planned changes,” a spokesperson for Fox News said in a statement. “A new 5PM program will be announced in the near future.”
Dobbs joined FBN 10 years ago and has been a staple on the channel ever since.
However, Dobbs has indulged in commentary that has crossed into conspiracy theories, particularly since Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.
Last December, Dobbs ran a segment produced by Fox that debunked some of his own segments about alleged fraud in the 2020 election, apparently due to legal concerns.
This week one company that has been the subject of some of Dobbs’ commentary, Smartmatic, filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox Corp., naming Dobbs as well.
The cancellation of Dobbs came as a shock to viewers, many of whom have accused the network of trying to silence the outspoken host.
Dobbs, 75, today responded to a flood of messages of support from fans, including Donald Trump who released a statement saying the host ‘is and was great’ and that ‘nobody loves America more than Lou.’
‘He had a large and loyal following that will be watching closely for his next move, and that following includes me,’ Trump added.
Dobbs replied to the message in a tweet saying: ‘Thanks for your kind words Mr. President. God bless you and all the American patriots who make this country great’.
Dobbs was one of Fox News’ staunchest supporters of Trump and had repeatedly pushed the president’s untrue claims of voter fraud and assertions that he won the 2020 election on air.
The cancellation of show, which had aired on the channel for nearly a decade, comes a day after voting software company Smartmatic sued Fox News and three of its hosts – Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro – for defamation over their coverage of Trump’s election fraud claims.
Whether the cancellation ends Dobbs’s career with Fox Business has not been addressed, and the network has not commented further on the decision.
In a statement Friday, Fox News Media said the move was part of routine programming alterations that it had foreshadowed in an announcement last fall.
The statement appeared to distance the cancellation from a multibillion-dollar defamation lawsuit filed against the company Thursday by Smartmatic.
The software company is looking for $2.7 billion in the suit, claiming that Fox knew the election wasn’t rigged but spread the narrative of a stolen election which damaged its business.
It also comes as Fox executives feared a shake-up after owner Rupert Murdoch arrived in New York following a months-long quarantine in the U.K.
The News Corp. boss reportedly took on a more hands-on role at the right-wing network after his arrival alongside his son Lachlan.
Top of the priority list is to tackle the decline in ratings seen since Trump lost the 2020 presidential election in November, insiders said.
After a successful 2020, Fox had fallen behind CNN and MSNBC in the ratings since the election as conservative viewers switched off.