Fox Business has cancelled Lou Dobbs Tonight, the network’s highest-rated show, following a lawsuit against Dobbs by the Smartmatic voting machine company.
The LA Times reported on Friday that Lou Dobbs Tonight would have its last airing that night, with Fox Business – the sister network to Fox News – pulling the plug on its highest rated show, which Dobbs had fronted since March 2011. As of next week, the show will be called “Fox Business Tonight.”
In a statement, Fox claimed that the decision to end Lou Dobbs Tonight was part of a wider revamp of the network’s schedule. “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 new 5PM program will be announced in the near future,” a Fox spokesperson told Politico.
CNN described the decision to cancel the show as a “head-scratching move,” given he often doubled the ratings of his lead-in, “a rare feat in television.” To cancel one of their most successful shows out of nowhere would certainly be confusing, if it wasn’t for the fact that Lou Dobbs and Fox were currently parties in a lawsuit from Smartmatic, a voting company that claims Dobbs and two other Fox hosts defamed them.
The lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, is chasing $2.7 billion in damages from Dobbs, Fox, other hosts Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro, along with Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, for alleging the voting machine company was linked to the immense voter fraud seen in the presidential election in November. “The story led a mob to attack the US Capitol,” the lawsuit claims.
“Lou Dobbs is and was great,” President Trump said in a statement, sticking up for his long-term ally. “Nobody loves America more than Lou. He had a large and loyal following that will be watching closely for his next move, and that following includes me.”
According to the LA Times, Dobbs remains under contract at Fox, “but he will in all likelihood not appear on the company’s networks again.”