New York — Greta Van Susteren has abruptly quit after 14 years as a prime-time anchor at Fox News Channel, saying that Fox “has not felt like home to me for a few years.”
Starting Tuesday, she’s being temporarily replaced in her 7 p.m. time slot by Fox veteran Brit Hume, at least through the election.
Word of the surprise shake-up in what has been cable TV news’ most stable and successful lineup was announced only minutes after the settlement of former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson’s harassment lawsuit against deposed Fox News chief Roger Ailes.
Van Susteren, in a Facebook post, did not say what she meant by Fox News not feeling like home anymore. She had spoken on Ailes’ behalf in an interview with The Daily Beast in the immediate aftermath of Carlson’s lawsuit, saying she had known nothing of the alleged behavior, but later clarified those remarks, saying she didn’t mean to defend or condemn her former boss. The Washington-based lawyer said Tuesday that she took advantage of a contractual clause allowing her to leave and since it had a time limitation, she could not wait.
She did not immediately return requests for comment.
Fox did not explain Van Susteren’s exit, although a person close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity described it as a financial disagreement.
Van Susteren, who came to Fox from CNN after establishing herself among the commentators on the O.J. Simpson trial, said on Facebook that she hoped to continue her career in broadcasting.
She held down the 10 p.m. time slot at Fox for many years, but her “On the Record” show was switched to 7 p.m. when Fox wanted to make room in prime time for Megyn Kelly. Kelly took over at 9 p.m. and Sean Hannity was moved to 10 p.m.
Van Susteren’s departure came at a time many Fox watchers were focused on other potential changes at the network. Fox mainstay Bill O’Reilly, who turns 67 on Saturday, has mused publicly about the idea of retirement, and it’s unclear how Ailes’ departure will affect him. Kelly’s contract expires later this year, and Fox dearly wants to keep her. Hannity’s vocal support of Donald Trump has made him a controversial figure in the conservative media.
Hume, 73, is a senior political commentator for Fox and had been the network’s primary news anchor before stepping aside in 2008. He said he’s taking on Van Susteren’s show through the election.
Fox’s co-presidents, Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine, said in a statement that “we are grateful for Greta’s many contributions over the years and wish her continued success.”