Fox News Channel confirms Bob Beckel is leaving his role as co-host of The Five, and will depart the network. In a statement to TVNewser, Bill Shine, executive vice president of programming for Fox News, said “We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold The Five hostage to one man’s personal issues. He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him. Juan Williams and Geraldo Rivera will be among those rotating on the show for the near future.”
Beckel had not appeared on The Five since February, sparking questions and rumors about his health. In March, Greg Gutfeld responded to viewers’ questions about Beckel’s absence, saying Beckel had undergone major back surgery.
TVNewser reported in April that Beckel was being treated for addiction to prescription pain medication, which he had used to treat pain before and after surgery.
UPDATE: Via Twitter, Beckel has commented on his departure from Fox News, saying the Fox statement from Bill Shine “baffles me.”
I am no longer on The Five or with Fox. Fox statement today baffles me. I will respond in the appropriate forum. I will miss you all.
— Robert G Beckel (@RobertGBeckel) June 25, 2015