Why Did Fox Scrap the Popular Lou Dobbs Show?

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Lou Dobbs by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Lou Dobbs Tonight has been cancelled by Fox despite its high ratings and popular spot as a pro-Trump, conservative program.

Lou Dobbs, who has earned a reputation as a fearless firebrand, retweeted well wishes and colleagues on his social media as he was informed of the departure. The well wishes included a strong message of support from President Trump who said he will be looking forward to where Dobbs goes next and counts himself as one of the hosts biggest fans.


Dobbs’ show usually plays at 5pm and 7pm EST on Fox Business, and he also popped up as a guest interview on other Fox programs such as Hannity. That won’t be happening anymore: Dobbs is out at Fox. 

It’s no exaggeration to say that Fox cancelled Dobbs. Is Tucker Carlson next?

Why Did Fox Nix Dobbs?

The unofficial reason Fox nixed Dobbs requires a bit of cancellation. He was canceled only one day after the voting company Smartmatic served a massive $2.7 billion lawsuit on Fox and Dobbs, Judge Jeanine Pirro and Maria Bartiromo for their allegations of voter fraud involving Smartmatic. Fox says the lawsuit is “meritless” and it looks forward to defending itself in court.

Was Dobbs let go for his part in perpetuating statements that led to the lawsuit? It seems possible at first glance.

However, Pirro and Bartiromo have not been let go, and Dobbs was apparently already being considered for the chopping block long before the big lawsuit hit the network.

The real reason Dobbs was canned probably has more to do with advertising dollars. Dobbs has been controversial ever since his days at CNN when he was a strident critic of illegal immigration and a strong supporter of what would eventually become the populist nationalism of the MAGA movement under Trump.

At Fox his show had massive viewing numbers but not very big advertising revenue because many big advertisers were worried to place their bets on his time slots in case he drew controversy or boycotts towards their brands.

For its part, Fox says Dobbs being let go is just part of regular changes.

“Fox News Media regularly considers programming changes and plans have been in place to launch new formats as appropriate post-election, including on Fox Business. This is part of those planned changes,” a rep for Fox said.

Lou Dobbs_ by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Who Will Replace Dobbs?

Fox says that a replacement for Dobbs will be coming down the pipes “in the near future.” Considering that Fox recently hired Larry Kudlow there’s a good shot they’ll give him Dobbs’ slot.

It’s clear that Fox basically let Dobbs go because he was too unrestrained in his support of Trump and made comments that they regarded as going too far and possibly scaring away advertisers. Late last year, for example, Dobbs told Trump lawyer Sidney Powell that Trump should pursue “drastic action, dramatic action to make certain that the integrity of this election is understood or lack of it, the crimes that have been committed against him and the American people. And if the Justice Department doesn’t want to do it, if the FBI cannot do it, then we have to find other resources within the federal government.”

Despite his years of success and devoted viewers, Dobbs is a good example of what happens to those who step too far outside the boundary lines drawn by the mainstream media on what you’re allowed to say or not. Now that Biden is in office the network wants an advertiser-friendly person who talks more “moderately.” They may also find their viewership numbers become a lot more “moderate” as well.