Fox News Media has cancelled Lou Dobbs’ show, benching its business network’s highest-rated host and a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump as both Dobbs and Fox face a billion-dollar lawsuit over false claims about the integrity of the 2020 election.
The move, which was first reported by the Los Angeles Times and confirmed by a Fox News spokesperson Friday, came one day after Fox and Dobbs were named in the $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit brought by Smartmatic, a voting software company that was the subject of several false claims made on Fox News and Fox Business.
In a statement, a Fox News spokesperson portrayed the move as something that had been planned prior to the lawsuit.
“As we said in October, 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,” the spokesperson said.
Dobbs’ show, “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” will be replaced by “Fox Business Tonight” with rotating hosts Jackie DeAngelis and David Asman.
“A new 5PM program will be announced in the near future,” the spokesperson said.
The cancellation brings an end to Dobbs’ decade-long run on the network, where he was a staunch advocate for Trump and many of his most conspiratorial views. Dobbs was previously a host on CNN.
The Smartmatic suit alleges that Fox News, three of its hosts — Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro — and Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell defamed the company by falsely claiming that Smartmatic was used to rig the 2020 election.
In at least 13 different instances, those hosts or guests advanced demonstrably false claims about Smartmatic and its role in the 2020 election, including claims that it was being used to change the outcome in battleground districts. (In fact, Smartmatic software was only used in Los Angeles County, and there is no evidence of election fraud.)
If Fox News were forced to pay Smartmatic $2.7 billion in damages, it would effectively wipe out almost all the profit the company created for its parent company, Fox Corp., in the fiscal year of 2019.
In a statement, Fox News said it was “committed to providing the full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear opinion. We are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in court.”
Dylan Byers is a senior media reporter for NBC News based in Los Angeles.
Medicine Hat, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today the Bob Ridley Award for Media Excellence, a new WHL Award which will be presented annually to a distinguished member of the radio, television, and print journalism industry in recognition of their outstanding contributions to sports journalism and the WHL.
Bob Ridley, the longtime radio play-by-play voice of the Medicine Hat Tigers, is the first recipient and the namesake for this prestigious honour. Bob Ridley was recognized by WHL Commissioner Ron Robison and the Medicine Hat Tigers during a special ceremony at Co-op Place in Medicine Hat on Saturday, the day of Ridley’s 4,000th career WHL game.
“The WHL and our member Clubs are honoured to pay tribute to Bob’s remarkable career with the Medicine Hat Tigers by establishing the Bob Ridley Award for Media Excellence,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “Bob has made an incredible contribution to the WHL and the Tigers over the past 50 years and as he gets ready to call his 4,000th WHL game it is only fitting we recognize his legacy with this new league-wide award named in his honour.”
Since the Tigers began play during the 1970-71 WHL Regular Season, Ridley has been the only play-by-play voice in team history, calling every single game the Tigers have ever played, with the exception of one. In 1972, Ridley missed one Tigers game after he was sent out on assignment to attend the Women’s National Curling Championship in Saskatoon, Sask.
Ridley has been synonymous with Medicine Hat Tigers hockey for 50 seasons, with the 2020-21 WHL Regular Season representing his 51st campaign at the mic. Ridley called the Tigers WHL Championship victories in 1973, 1987, 1988, 2004, and 2007, and was there to tell the story of the Club’s two national titles at the Memorial Cup in 1987 and 1988.
In addition to his work as the Tigers play-by-play voice, Ridley also served as the Club’s bus driver for 45 seasons. His unique role helped forge everlasting bonds with players across more than five decades.
Ridley’s contributions to Major Junior hockey in Western Canada have been recognized on a number of previous occasions:
1995 – Medicine Hat Civic Recognition Sports Award
2005 – Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Bell Memorial Award
2005 – Alberta Centennial Award
2006 – WHL Distinguished Service Award
2007 – Lifetime Achievement Award, Radio Television Directors News Awards
2011 – Inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame
2019 – Inducted into the Western Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame
In 1995, he was the recipient of the Medicine Hat Civic Recognition Sports Award. In 2005, Ridley was named the recipient of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Bell Memorial Award, and he was also presented with the Alberta Centennial Award by the Government of Alberta. In 2006, Ridley was recognized with the WHL Distinguished Service Award.
A 76-year-old native of Vulcan, Alta., Ridley began his pursuit of broadcasting working weekends at CJDV Drumheller while attending Mount Royal College in Calgary. From there, he moved on to CKSW Swift Current, working as a rock disc jockey and calling play-by-play for an intermediate baseball team in Swift Current, Sask. Ridley then spent two years at CKKR Rosetown before joining CHAT Radio and settling in Medicine Hat.
About the Western Hockey League Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 375 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.
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