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Tucker Carlson Out at Fox

State of the Union: Fox will miss Tucker more than Tucker will miss Fox.

2022 FOX Nation Patriot Awards
HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 17: Tucker Carlson speaks during 2022 FOX Nation Patriot Awards at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on November 17, 2022 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

I'm not going to speculate about the cause of Tucker Carlson's sudden departure from Fox given how much remains unknown. There have been conflicting reports on the timeline, and while Fox claims the parting of ways was mutual, other reports suggest the network fired him. I will offer a few initial thoughts on what Tucker's departure means for Carlson and the network.

First, Tucker will be fine. He has generational writing and speaking chops. He has a massive following that made his the highest-rated cable news show in American history. His monologues regularly drove the conversation in Washington and in the media, and accelerated the Republican Party's realignment on foreign policy, trade, and markets. He has better political instincts than every elected Republican, and will have no trouble commanding an audience wherever he goes.

Second, Fox will be without the most dynamic host on its network. Some of the potential options to replace Carlson, such as Sean Hannity, are avatars of a stale, tired pre-Trump conservatism out of step with the movement's energy. Fox commands a huge audience for all of its prime time programming, but it's possible a substantial portion of Tucker's audience will sooner flee the network than watch his replacement.

To that point, Tucker's being at Fox and holding down its 8 p.m. slot was good both for the network and for those who wanted a more populist conservative movement. Fox is America's most-watched cable news network, and its viewership has stood by it through controversies and scandals. Having Tucker as its lead anchor and speaking to its millions of viewers helped to mainstream the foreign policy restraint and more populist approach to economics that led to Donald Trump's election.

Both sides might be worse off for the split. But given his sense of where the wind is blowing, it's likely Fox will miss Carlson more than Carlson will miss Fox.