Geraldo Rivera Leaves Fox News After Nearly 22 Years, Network Airs Lengthy Tribute to Him

By A.J. Katz 

Less than a week before his 80th birthday, longtime Fox News on-air personality Geraldo Rivera officially said goodbye to the network on Friday during an appearance on Fox & Friends.

Rivera had previously announced that Thursday and Friday would be his final appearances on The Five. But that didn’t come to pass.

“Bumpy day on the North Atlantic. Anyway, I got fired from @TheFive so I quit Fox. After 23 years tomorrow Fox and Friends could be my last appearance on the network. Thanks for the memories.”


Last Wednesday, Rivera, a rotating co-host on The Five since 2021, announced that his time on the highly-rated panel program would soon be coming to an end, telling the AP, “It has been a rocky ride but it has also been an exhilarating adventure that spanned quite a few years. I hope it’s not my last adventure.”

Last Friday, that sentiment changed. He tweeted: “I am unsure about my next career move & will announce next Friday here on Twitter and live on The Five whether I stay with Fox or do something else, with your support.”

Instead of on The Five, Rivera said goodbye to Fox News on Fox & Friends. He reiterated that he had been fired from his role as co-host on The Five and subsequently decided to quit Fox. The program then aired a 10-minute tribute video to the longtime broadcaster and his half-century in television. Rivera said he was “touched.”

“I’m deeply touched, I’m honored, I love Fox, I love the people at Fox, I always will,” Rivera said. “I’ll never let anyone separate us, but I am beyond grateful for this. This is so deeply affecting, I love you for it, thank you.”

Fox & Friends’ co-hosts who were present wore fake mustaches to honor Rivera.

Ever the provocateur, Rivera also used his final appearance on the morning show to praise the same affirmative action policies that the Supreme Court struck down on Thursday.

Well, I thank you for the for the opportunity, because affirmative action has just been voted down by the Supreme Court of the United States and a very controversial decision that will impact many people of color. I was a product of affirmative action over a half a century ago …

When the Ford Foundation and Columbia Journalism School got together to integrate the local news teams in New York, there were no black reporters, no Hispanic reporters, no women. And it was shocking. And that was as late as 1968, ’69. So, I was selected. I was making news representing a group of Puerto Rican activists, the Young Lords who had taken over some buildings up in the Spanish Harlem. And I was their lawyer and their negotiator. And I made a lot of news as their spokesperson. And so I got discovered that way, and they drafted me through the Columbia program, and the rest is history.

Rivera had been one of the longest-tenured on-air personalities at Fox News Channel, having joined the network in 2001 as a war correspondent shortly after 9/11.

In 2021, Rivera signed a multi-year deal to remain with the company, which saw him retain his correspondent at large role, primarily contributing to Fox News and Fox Nation in various ways.

In January 2022, Rivera was tapped to be one of the three rotating “liberal” co-hosts on The Five, joining Fox News contributor Jessica Tarlov, and former Democratic lawmaker Harold Ford Jr. The trio replaced Juan Williamswho decided not to continue with the program after it resumed studio production at Fox News’ headquarters in New York.

Rivera’s time at The Five hasn’t always been smooth sailing. He often butted heads with co-host Greg Gutfeld, calling him, according to The Daily Beast, an “insulting punk,” and even threatening to kick him in the ass. He frequently debates the more conservative figures on the network (despite being a registered Republican himself), often appearing on Hannity to provide an opposing view on immigration policy, for instance.

Rivera’s appearances on The Five recently became less frequent, leading to a point in early May when he tweeted about the cancellation of scheduled co-host appearances on May 4 and May 5, adding, “I’m sure there a good reason.”

Bret Baier, Martha MacCallum, Jeanine Pirro, Pete Hegseth and Sean Hannity were among the on-air talent to praise Rivera via taped tributes.

Neil Cavuto had especially poignant words for his soon to be retired colleague, saying, in part, “thanks for making the news better.”

Yes, there were the controversial times in Rivera’s career (including, but not limited to the 1986 Al Capone vaults saga and years later getting his nose broken on live TV), but over the course of his 50 year career in broadcast television, Rivera received more than 170 awards for journalism, including the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, three national and seven local Emmys, two Columbia-Dupont, and two additional Scripps Howard Journalism Awards. Past stops include WABC-TV in New York, ABC News, NBC News, and CNBC (where he met the late Fox News boss Roger Ailes), and of course the launch of his syndicated talk show.