More than four months after he last appeared on the cable news network, Bob Beckel officially has been let go by Fox News Channel. “We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold The Five hostage to one man’s personal issues,” said FNC’s EVP Programming Bill Shine said in a statement today. “He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill, and we simply came to the end of the road with him. Juan Williams and Geraldo Rivera will be among those rotating on the show for the near future.”
Beckel had been with FNC since 2000, when he signed on as a contributor. He was one of the original co-hosts of the highly rated The Five since it debuted in summer 2011.
The campaign manager for Walter Mondale’s 1984 White House bid had last been on-air back on February 16. In addition to having had back surgery, Beckel’s absence was also out of a need to seek treatment for prescription medication use. “Fox News tried to carry Beckel through his personal issues and wanted him to get the help he needed,” a source told me Thursday.
UPDATE, 6:02 PM: Bob Beckel took to Twitter Thursday to respond to Fox News’ ending of their 15-year relationship with him. Here’s a portion of what he had to say:
I just can’t understand the anger in Fox statement. I was healing from major back surgery i could not walk, I took no advantage I got well
— Robert G Beckel (@RobertGBeckel) June 26, 2015