Fox News and Eric Bolling are parting ways, over a month after he was suspended for allegedly sending lewd messages to female employees. The network also announced that it will cancel The Specialists, a show Bolling started co-hosting after the shuffle Bill O’Reilly’s firing caused earlier this year.
“Fox News Channel is canceling The Specialists, and Eric Bolling and Fox have agreed to part ways amicably,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement to Heavy. “We thank Eric for his ten years of service to our loyal viewers and wish him the best of luck.”
Bolling’s former Specialists co-hosts, Eboni Williams and Kat Timpf, will remain FNC contributors. The 5 p.m. hour will become a news hour with rotating anchors until a permanent anchor is found.
Bolling began hosting The Specialists with Williams and Timpf in May after the show took over the slot once held by The Five. That show was moved to 9 p.m. after O’Reilly left Fox News following revelations that he and 21st Century Fox settled sexual harassment claims against him.
On August 4, Bolling found himself at the center of his own controversy when The Huffington Post’s Yashar Ali reported that Bolling sent an unsolicited photo of male genitalia to at least two Fox Business colleagues and one Fox News colleague. Ali reported that a dozen anonymous sources confirmed the allegations, but Bolling denied them. Bolling also sued Ali for defamation, seeking $50 million in damages.
“Mr. Bolling recalls no such inappropriate communications, does not believe he sent any such communications, and will vigorously pursue his legal remedies for any false and defamatory accusations that are made,” Bolling’s attorney, Michael J. Bowe, told the Huffington Post last month.
Ali responded to the lawsuit on Twitter by saying he stood by his reporting and would not reveal his sources. After Bolling and Fox News split, Ali tweeted that he wasn’t sure how this news effects the lawsuit against him.
“For those asking, it’s unclear what’s happening with his lawsuit against me. If he chooses to move forward, I look forward to depo/discovery,” Ali tweeted.
CNNmedia noted that Bolling was let go the same day that Charles Payne was welcomed back on the network. Payne was suspended after he was accused of sexual harassment, which Fox also investigated.