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Bill O’Reilly claims to have inside scoop on Tucker Carlson’s firing

Former Fox News personality says employees who work on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" were told of his departure during their production meeting.

Former Fox News personality says employees who work on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" were told of his departure during their production meeting.

Staff workers for Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program “Tucker Carlson Tonight” were in the middle of their Monday morning production meeting when they learned of the cable news star’s firing on Monday, according to former network personality Bill O’Reilly.

Appearing on NewsNation’s “Cuomo” Monday evening, O’Reilly said sources within Fox News affirmed the decision to fire Carlson was made Sunday evening after Fox Corporation executives examined a number of legal issues surrounding the host. Those issues include the recently-closed Dominion Voting Machines defamation lawsuit, which Fox settled for $787.3 million last year, and a pending lawsuit filed by former Fox News booking personality Abby Grossberg, who alleged Carlson and others created a hostile work environment.

O’Reilly said Grossman’s lawyers have recordings that “are not good tapes for the Carlson program,” but didn’t say what the recordings contain. The network fired Grossberg last month after the network accused her of disclosing confidential information; Grossberg alleges Fox News asked her to lie under deposition in the Dominion defamation lawsuit, and offered to testify on behalf of Dominion in the case, which ultimately did not go to trial.

“Fox News did not want to remove Tucker Carlson because…he was the second-highest rated program on the network, next to The Five, and he was the most well-known individual host,” O’Reilly said. “So they didn’t want to move him out.”

What it ultimately came down to was money, “as it is at other corporate media,” O’Reilly affirmed.

O’Reilly said his information came from unnamed sources within Fox News Media, telling Cuomo he spent the day doing his own investigative reporting, which helped him get to the bottom of what really happened. His reporting could not be independently confirmed by The Desk on Monday.

Carlson was caught off-guard by his firing on Monday, learning of his dismissal just 10 minutes before the network issued a statement on it. According to sources who spoke with The Desk, he still had about a year left on his talent agreement with Fox News, and was expecting to negotiate a renewal of his contract later this year.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).