Fox News Media, the parent division of Fox Business and Fox News FOX, + 3.34%, said in a statement that Dobbs’ departure is part of an earlier plan to change the network’s programming. Attempts to communicate with Lou Dobbs were unsuccessful. Dobbs’ 5 pm ET time slot on Fox Business will be replaced by “Fox Business Tonight,” an interim show run by hosts Jackie DeAngelis and David Asman on alternate days, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Fox News was sued Thursday by voting machine company Smartmatic USA Corp., which alleged that the network made defamatory comments about the company’s products after the presidential election. The lawsuit also cited comments made about Smartmatic by Fox News Media presenters, including Mr. Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo. Fox called the lawsuit without merit and said he was proud of his 2020 election coverage. He said he will vigorously defend the lawsuit in court. Fox Corp. and News Corp, parent of The Wall Street Journal, share common ownership. While Dobbs, 75, is not expected to continue to appear on Fox Business, he still has months left on his contract with the network, according to another person familiar with the matter. In December, after Smartmatic sent a letter to Fox News threatening a defamation lawsuit, the news division aired segments to clarify facts related to the voting machine company. Mr. Dobbs presented one of his show’s segments with voting technology expert Edward Perez, who rejected claims that Smartmatic software was used to intrude on the voting process. An expanded version of this story appears on WSJ.com.