Tucker Carlson gave no indication that this would be the last edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight" to broadcast on Fox News as he signed off Friday night.
Carlson was eating pizza delivered by Tyler Morell, who had recently assisted Pennsylvania police in capturing an escaping suspect, according to The Western Journal.
After a few nibbles, the Fox News host bid his routine farewell to millions of viewers: “That’s it for us for the week. We’ll be back,” he said.
“We’ll be back on Monday,” Carlson said moments later. “In the meantime, have the best weekend with the ones that you love, and we’ll see you then.”
"FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor," Fox News Media said in an April 24 press release.
"Mr. Carlson’s last program was Friday April 21st," the release continued. "Fox News Tonight will air live at 8 PM/ET starting this evening as an interim show helmed by rotating FOX News personalities until a new host is named."
The leading cable news network didn't explain what had caused the decision to part company, or whether it was the decision of the company or Carlson, but many have speculated that it was Fox News' decision, due to recent controversial statements the primetime host has made on air, and the fact Carlson didn't offer a final sign off on his Friday show.
It appears that Carlson's departure applies to all of Fox News affiliates and subsidiaries, considering their clarification at the end of the announcement, which bragged that Fox News has been the number one cable news channel "for more than 21 consecutive years, while FBN ranks among the top business channels on cable," the statement read. "Owned by Fox Corporation, FOX News Media reaches nearly 200 million people each month."
Carlson was the network's top anchor with 3.2 million viewers on average for his prime time show. He was also a huge draw for Fox Nation, the digital arm of the network, so his departure may be a big blow to Fox News's viewership numbers.
Two events that took place just before the anchor's departure have viewers asking why the network would either terminate or let their star anchor get away.
Carlson noted after speaking at a Heritage Foundation event on Friday he formerly worked as a copy editor for the conservative organization’s quarterly review, according to The Hill.
“If things go south for Fox News, there’s always a job for you here,” Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts said, to which the then-anchor replied, “You’ve saved me before."
The Hill also noted that the departure came after Fox News settled a lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million. Dominion claimed it was defamed by the network’s allegations of rigged voting machines in the 2020 election.
Fox News reportedly lost $1 billion in market share after the announcement Monday, so the loss of Carlson is being felt in more ways than one.