Fox News Media cancels Lou Dobbs's show

Fox News Media announced Friday that it has canceled Lou DobbsLouis (Lou) Carl DobbsFormer Trump press aide: We went to Fox News 'to get what we wanted out' Court sets Smartmatic dismissal date on Giuliani, Bartiromo, others Fox News says Smartmatic lawsuit should be dismissed MORE's show on Fox Business, ending the highest-rated program on the business network.

Dobbs, a loyal ally of former President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE who promoted theories about election fraud following his loss last year, hosted the evening show for a decade.

A Fox News Media spokesperson confirmed the cancellation of "Lou Dobbs Tonight" to The Hill, saying it was part of programming changes that are “regularly” weighed.

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“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. A new 5PM program will be announced in the near future,” the spokesperson said.

The show had aired twice nightly, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. eastern time. Starting Monday, the interim show at 5 p.m. will be called "Fox Business Tonight" and will be hosted on Monday and Tuesday by Jackie DeAngelis and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday by David Asman. Those programs will repeat at 7 p.m.

The announcement comes a day after Dobbs was named, along with other Fox hosts and pro-Trump attorneys, in a $2.7 billion lawsuit from voting technology company Smartmatic. The complaint specifically cited a groundless claim made on Dobbs’s show that Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan strongman who died in 2013, had a hand in tampering with Smartmatic devices to manipulate the vote in last year's U.S. presidential election.

That claim was made by pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, who was also named in the suit. Dobbs was also cited in the filing for saying the nation faced a “cyber Pearl Harbor” when discussing the evidence-challenged voter fraud claims.

“FOX News Media is 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," Fox News Media said in a statement Thursday regarding the suit.

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Dobbs began hosting his Fox program in 2011 and rose to prominence during the Trump administration. The president and other White House officials appeared regularly on the program, which elevated the administration’s right-wing views on a range of topics, including immigration. Dobbs had previously also raised questions about former President Obama’s birthplace as part of the racist "birther" conspiracy theory.

Fox News had revamped its daytime lineup in December amid a broader shakeup.

Fox News has fallen behind CNN and MSNBC in cable ratings as it battles for an audience with other conservative outlets like Newsmax and One America News Network. Trump and other prominent Republicans began hammering Fox after it was the first cable outlet to call Arizona for now-President Biden in November.

While the projection was ultimately correct, Trump promoted Newsmax and OANN as alternatives to Fox over the perceived slight.

Fox is still holds a strong cable presence, and just marked 19 years as the ratings leader.