Greta Van Susteren is out as a nighttime host on Fox News Channel, replaced temporarily by Brit Hume starting Tuesday.
Fox did not publicly explain Van Susteren’s abrupt exit after 14 years, although a person close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity described it as a financial disagreement. Word of the surprise shake-up in what has been cable TV news’ most stable and successful lineup was announced only minutes after the settlement of former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson’s harassment lawsuit against deposed Fox News chief Roger Ailes.
Van Susteren, in a Facebook post, said without elaboration that Fox News did not feel like home anymore. She had defended Ailes in an interview with The Daily Beast in the immediate aftermath of Carlson’s lawsuit, saying she had known nothing of the alleged behavior. The Washington-based lawyer said Tuesday that she took advantage of a contractual clause allowing her to leave and since it had a time limitation, she could not wait.
She did not immediately return requests for comment.
The Washington-based lawyer came to Fox from CNN 14 years ago. For several years, her “On the Record” program aired at 9 p.m. Chicago time, but moved to 6 p.m. when Fox gave a prime-time show to Megyn Kelly.
Hume is a senior political commentator for Fox. He said he’s taking on Van Susteren’s show through the election.
Fox’s co-presidents, Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine, said in a statement that “we are grateful for Greta’s many contributions over the years and wish her continued success.”
In a statement Tuesday about the Carlson settlement, Fox parent company 21st Century said that “we regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.”
Carlson was paid $20 million, according to someone familiar with the confidential settlement who spoke under condition of anonymity.
Carlson alleged that she was demoted and let go from Fox after she refused Ailes’ sexual advances and complained about workplace harassment. Ailes denied the charges, but 21st Century launched an investigation and Ailes resigned after other women made allegations.
In a statement, Carlson said she was ready to move on to the next chapter in her life, and plans to help empower women in the workplace.
“I want to thank all the brave women who came forward to tell their own stories and the many people across the country who embraced and supported me,” she said.
Daivd Bauder/ Associated Press Television Writer