Fox News just lost a lot more of its star power – and might be losing more than that.
Just more than a month after accusations broke that Eric Bolling, one of the biggest names as the network, had sent lewd text messages to female co-workers, Fox announced Friday that Bolling would no longer be one its employees.
The network also announced that it was ending “The Specialists,” a show where Bolling served as one of three regular hosts until being suspended over the accusations on Aug. 5.
“Fox News Channel is canceling ‘The Specialists,’ and Eric Bolling and Fox have agreed to part ways amicably,” the network said in a statement, according to The Hill.
“We thank Eric for his 10 years of service to our loyal viewers and wish him the best of luck.”
Fox News loyalists, or former loyalists, could be forgiven for being skeptical of the “amicably” part.
After watching the network jettison Bill O’Reilly, arguably one of the most recognizable conservative voices in American media, over allegations of sexual harassment, they’re now seeing another vocal conservative losing a Fox job over allegations he disputes.
Bolling denied the allegations and later filed a $50 million lawsuit against a reporter who wrote a detailed article about the charges for the Huffington Post.
The author of the article wrote that she interviewed recipients of the text and others who had allegedly seen them – but the article itself did not include any of the supposed lewd material.
After offering at first a tenuous defense that his client did not recall sending the material, Bolling’s attorney, Michael Bowe, wrote an email to the media proclaiming Bolling’s innocence.
“The anonymous, uncorroborated claims are untrue and terribly unfair,” Bowe wrote, according to an Associated Press article from Aug. 5 – the day Bolling was suspended.
“We intend to fully cooperate with the investigation so that it can be concluded and Eric can return to work as quickly as possible.”
If Bolling returns to work on the air soon, it’s not going to be with Fox, though. And after a tumultuous year that has seen the network rocked from its shameful handling of the O’Reilly affair, the Bolling departure is going to be a black eye for Fox.
Fox’s clear willingness to get rid of its popular, prominent faces on the grounds of politically charged accusations is not doing the network any favors among its viewing base, which already has a well-founded suspicion of major media companies — and how easily those companies can be pressured by liberal interest groups.
The departure of Bolling is just going to deepen that suspicion – and possibly form an even more fertile ground for some future network to challenge Fox for America’s conservative viewers.
Anyone know where Steve Bannon is this weekend?
What do you think of this move by Fox? Scroll down to comment below!
The son of former Fox News Channel anchor Eric Bolling has committed suicide, TMZ reports.
Sources told the website that 19-year-old Eric Chase Bolling, Jr., took his life Friday night.
The news comes just one day after FNC announced the network had “parted ways” with Bolling amid allegations that he had sent lewd photos to co-workers.
Bolling had been suspended since August.
Further details about the reported death were not immediately released.
The younger Bolling was an economics student at the University of Colorado Boulder. It’s unclear how he died.
He was Bolling’s only son with wife Adrienne.
HuffPost reporter Yashar Ali broke the news of his death Saturday morning.
“Very sad news, Eric Bolling’s son, who was only 19, died last night. By all accounts, Eric was incredibly devoted to his son. Heartbreaking,” Ali tweeted.
Ali added that Bolling was a committed father to his son.
“The one thing I heard from people consistently: he was a devoted dad,” Ali wrote, sharing a picture of the father-son duo together.
Fox News host Sean Hannity offered condolences to the Bolling family Saturday.
“@ericbolling To my dear friend, please know we all love you, will be here for you and your family.”
A stream of condolences poured in on social media.
“Rip man, there were so many people who would’ve loved to help you get through whatever it was you were going through. Much love to you and your family,” Donald Regan said on Facebook.
“RIP I will miss you Eric,” another friend wrote.
A Boulder police spokesperson said they were investigating the case.
Sources: Conservative Tribune, NY Daily News, TMZ