Less than five months after returning to Fox News Channel and The Five, Bob Beckel has been pink-slipped from the cable news giant once again. “Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” said a FNC representative Friday morning.
The incident occurred on May 16, I hear, with a complaint being made by the FNC staffer that night. After an internal investigation, the decision was made last night to cut Beckel loose. The Five co-host was informed this morning that he would not longer be working at FNC.
No word on who will replace the liberal leaning Beckel on the 9PM The Five but, with the now ex-co-host alternating with Juan Williams on the show, all the seats look set to be filled tonight.
This latest firing at FNC comes as the legally besieged and scandal tainted outlet tries to recover from on-going accusations of sexual and racial harassment. “No one tried to persuade Mr. Wigdor’s client to withdraw his complaint,” said a Fox News spokesperson Friday of claims by lawyer Doug Wigdor, who is representing over dozen current and former FNC employees in a potential racial discrimination class action.
With no small irony, the last comment the former 1984 Walter Mondale campaign manager made on social media before being let go by FNC was about getting a gig at the cabler.
15 yrs ago I was out of work after fake scandal Roger Ailes gave me work a great man with a big heart may he now Rest In Peace
— Robert G Beckel (@RobertGBeckel) May 18, 2017
Often playing the role of the crusty old uncle to the conservative whippersnappers on the now primetime The Five, Beckel was first dropped by FNC in June 2015 after 15-years with the then Ailes run channel. That exit was not so sudden as Beckel hadn’t been on air for several months.
“We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold The Five hostage to one man’s personal issues,” said then EVP Programming Bill Shine of Beckel’s firing at the time. Shine of course is also out at FNC after being promoted to co-president by Rupert Murdoch following Ailes leaving under multiple accusations of sexual harassment last summer.
In recent months, FNC has also seen several other execs exit. Bill O’Reilly was also shown the door by the Murdochs last month after it became public that $13 million had been paid out to settle allegations of sexual harassment against the once Factor host and ratings king.
“Bob was missed by many fans of The Five, and we’re happy to welcome him back to the show,” the elder Murdoch, who is 21st Century Fox and Fox News executive chairman, said on January 16 when the ex-pol rejoined FNC.
There’s always a chance that Beckel could be back again but with FNC desperate to rehabilitate its image, his alleged comments might be a bridge too far this time.