The Fox News Channel continues to move on from its top star, Tucker Carlson, as the network announced on Friday who would replace him next week.
Carlson, who was relieved of his prime-time duties ahead of Monday’s show, was replaced this week by morning show co-host Brian Kilmeade, but ratings have crashed, with some estimates putting the loss of viewers at more than half.
Now, Fox will give Lawrence Jones, 30, a shot at the time slot. Currently, Jones has a Saturday night gig called “Lawrence Jones Cross Country.”
“Fox News is trying out a rotating list of anchors in Tucker’s spot — this week it has been ‘Fox & Friends” Brian Kilmeade — but it is significant that they have chosen Jones to step up so soon after Tucker’s departure.” an insider told Page Six.
Jones lives in Dallas but he flies to New York on weekends to do his show, which currently pulls in around a million viewers and 108,000 in the key 25-54 year-old demo. Throughout the week, he works as an enterprise reporter for the morning show.
After working for the Obama campaign at the age of 15, Jones has since found a home at the right-leaning network. He reported from Uvalde, Texas, on the tragic mass shooting that claimed the lives of 19 children and two adults. He has also covered the Idaho murders, the death of Tyre Nichols, nationwide protests in response to George Floyd’s death, as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on minority communities throughout the United States.
“I never thought I would be doing this job. I think my classmates will tell you, and my parents would say that I always had an opinion. I was always advocating for someone involved with politics in some form or fashion,” he recently told The Dallas Morning News, adding that it was top-ranked host Sean Hannity who first offered him a slot at the network as a correspondent.
“I told him no, I didn’t think it was a good idea, ‘Because I’m a libertarian, and we’re going to disagree a lot,’” Jones said. “And he said, ‘Oh, that’s OK. Just be you,’” he added. “And I said, ‘No, we’re really going to disagree.’ He goes, ‘Just give it a shot.’ And that turned from two months into a year. And he said, ‘Listen, LJ, if you just be you, you’ll have your own show.’”
Continuing, he added: “I may have a godparent of every single race. And so, people often ask me: How am I able to report on a story in the south side of Chicago and then go to Iowa to do a diner for ‘Fox & Friends’? And it’s because I grew up around all these different types of people. It has allowed me to really go within any different crowd and understand their grievances and understand the things that matter to them the most.”
Former Fox News star Megyn Kelly ‘broke’ some news regarding Carlson’s departure during her SiriusXM podcast on Thursday, saying that he can’t really go anywhere else at the moment, saying that Carlson remains under contract with Fox.
“I wanna, I think, break some news for you. Tucker Carlson hasn’t actually been fired,” she said. “He’s still an employee of Fox News Channel.”
Kelly went on to explain that Carlson was contacted by CEO Suzanne Scott and told that he would not be allowed to do any more shows and that he was denied access to the company email. She also said that now, the two would have to “negotiate an exit” from the network.
She went on to claim that the call from Scott caught “Tucker completely off guard” but that he’s “not fired.”
“That’s my information, that he still needs to negotiate the exit and that right now he’s not free to launch a podcast or a digital show or negotiate with other employers at all because he’s still under contract,” Kelly continued.
She also said Carlson repeatedly attempted to find out why he was being taken off the air and was rebuffed by Scott. 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.
“To me, that is so disheartening,” Kelly went on, explaining that Carlson managed to succeed and help then network succeed through one of its most turbulent periods — the dismissal of long-time CEO Roger Ailes and the loss of two of the network’s top stars at the time, Bill O’Reilly and herself.
“So, why now? What was it that led them to treat their No. 1 star with such disdain?” Kelly mused.
IMO Tucker was part of Murdoch’s capitulation to Dominion. The old man has lost his touch and may soon sell Fox. I don’t understand why Murdoch folded when even if he lost to Dominion I doubt the settlement would be anywhere near what he paid Dominion. Ruppert should get a good rocking chair before his bad judgement wipes him out