After 14 years at Fox News, Greta Van Susteren is leaving the network, with senior political analyst Brit Hume taking over her On the Record anchor spot as of today.
“We are grateful for Greta’s many contributions over the years and wish her continued success,” said network co-presidents Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine in a statement.
Van Susteren had defended former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes in the wake of Gretchen Carlson‘s sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes, and Ailes’ subsequent resignation from Fox News paved the way for Van Susteren to get out of her contract, as Howard Kurtz explains:
According to a source familiar with the process, Van Susteren asked to renegotiate her contract after Roger Ailes resigned under pressure as Fox News chairman following a sexual harassment lawsuit. Van Susteren is one of a number of key Fox personnel whose contract included a “key man” clause allowing her to leave if Ailes departed.
When those negotiations deadlocked, Van Susteren chose to invoke the departure option, the sources said. Her last show was Thursday, and the swiftness of events did not allow her to deliver an on-air farewell.
In an interview with the New York Times, Van Susteren’s husband, John P. Coale, hinted at the possibility of future litigation.
Van Susteren posted a note on Facebook about the departure, writing:
Yes, I have left the Fox News Channel.
On Thursday night, I made my decision and informed Fox News of my decision that I was leaving Fox News Channel per my contract.
Fox has not felt like home to me for a few years and I took advantage of the clause in my contract which allows me to leave now. The clause had a time limitation, meaning I could not wait.
I love my staff, I love my colleagues, and I love the crews. That is the hardest part of this decision as they are wonderful people.
And most of all? I love the viewers — even the ones who have gotten mad at me over the years and taken swipes. 🙂
I hope to continue my career in broadcasting.
Our sister publication TVNewser looks at Van Susteren’s options.