After 14 years as host of the top-rated On the Record, Greta Van Susteren is leaving FOX News, exercising a clause in her contract that allowed her to leave the network following the departure of disgraced former CEO Roger Ailes, who was fired from the cable news network following multiple sexual harassment accusations against him.
Semi-retired anchor and analyst Brit Hume will temporarily replace Van Susteren for the remainder of the election season, Fox announced on Tuesday.
FOX News media analyst Howard Kurtz reported on Tuesday:
According to a source familiar with the process, Van Susteren asked to renegotiate her contract after Roger Ailes resigned under pressure as Fox News chairman following a sexual harassment lawsuit. Van Susteren is one of a number of key Fox personnel whose contract included a “key man” clause allowing her to leave if Ailes departed.
When those negotiations deadlocked, Van Susteren chose to invoke the departure option, the sources said. Her last show was Thursday, and the swiftness of events did not allow her to deliver an on-air farewell.
Hume, who spends part of the year in Florida, is not interested in taking over the Washington-based show permanently. The sudden vacancy could set off a competition to fill the 7 p.m. ET slot.
Separately, FOX News has reportedly settled former host Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes for a whopping $20 million and will offer an unprecedented public apology to Carlson as part of the settlement.
Greta Van Susteren, who along with Sean Hannity, Eric Bolling and Kimberly Guilfoyle make up the cabal of fervent Donald Trump supporters who propped-up the liberal New York bloviating billionaire and reality TV actor during the GOP primary, was one of the first to strongly and publicly defend Roger Ailes, despite more than two dozen women who have accused Ailes of sexual harassment.
“Of course, the first thing that occurred to me is that, unfortunately, we have a disgruntled employee, a colleague,” Van Susteren told PEOPLE in July. “I read that her show wasn’t being renewed and , being a lawyer, I thought she got angry. I deal with Roger Ailes often. I’ve often been alone with Roger Ailes in his office over the course of 15 years and I’ve never seen anything like what I’m reading about in the papers and the magazine,” she argued.