FOX News Faces Shake-Up: Tucker Carlson's Departure Sparks Fears of Major Layoffs
As FOX News grapples with the aftermath of its $787.5 million settlement over false claims related to the 2020 presidential election, there are growing concerns among insiders that key on-air personalities, including Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Steve Doocy, Laura Ingraham, and Maria Bartiromo, could be facing dismissal. The recent exit of Tucker Carlson, one of the network's most prominent figures, has intensified speculation about potential layoffs.
"There is a sense of doom throughout the network," reveals a FOX insider. "Everybody knows if the network was willing to make its biggest star walk the plank — ANYBODY could be next!" The significant payout and possible restructuring are expected to affect not only high-profile hosts but also employees behind the scenes.
Amid this turmoil, FOX News staffers are reportedly vying for Carlson's primetime slot. Contenders include Brian Kilmeade, Jesse Watters, and Geraldo Rivera. However, insiders predict Ainsley Earhardt, Hannity's girlfriend, might be the frontrunner. "She's young and popular and carries the least amount of baggage," a source explains.
Bartiromo and Pirro are rumored to be next in line for termination, and both have allegedly expressed their fears to close friends. Bartiromo's interview with pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell in November, which contained unfounded claims of voting machine irregularities, was cited in Dominion's lawsuit. Pirro, a staunch Trump supporter, was also criticized in court filings for planning an opening monologue filled with conspiracy theories.
Both Bartiromo and Pirro have been named in additional defamation suits filed by vote-tabulation company Smartmatic. Bartiromo is further implicated in a lawsuit by former Tucker Carlson producer Abby Grossberg, who claims to possess off-air recordings of Bartiromo and Texas Senator Ted Cruz discussing a plan to overturn the 2020 election results.
"Lawsuits like this could put FOX out of business," notes a source. As Brian Stelter, author of Network of Lies, points out, "other personalities will be leaving in the months to come." The FOX insider adds, "FOX has to lay off the costs of the three-quarter-billion-dollar settlement somewhere. That cost will come in the form of further layoffs — both big names and behind the scenes."