© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Fox News Channel sign can be seen inside the News Corporation building in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City
By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Fox Corp's Fox Business Network has canceled "Lou Dobbs Tonight," a weekday program hosted by business journalist and supporter of former President Donald Trump, the company said Friday.
The news of the cancellation came a day after 75-year-old Dobbs was named as a defendant in a defamation lawsuit filed by voting machine maker Smartmatic that alleged three Fox hosts, including Dobbs, falsely accused the company of being with to have participated in the rigging of the elections against Trump.
Fox said the move to end Dobbs' show was in the works prior to the lawsuit as part of a post-November US presidential election revision that saw Republican Trump defeated by Democrat Joe Biden.
"As we said in October, Fox News Media is regularly considering program changes and plans to introduce new formats as appropriate after the elections, including for Fox Business," said a Fox News Media spokesman. "This is part of these planned changes."
Regarding the lawsuit against Smartmatic, Fox said Thursday the network was "proud of our coverage of the 2020 elections and will vigorously defend this unsubstantiated lawsuit in court."
Dobbs, who was reached by text message on Friday, said he had no comment.
The cancellation of Dobbs' show was first reported by the Los Angeles Times, according to which the anchor would likely no longer appear on Fox channels despite still being under contract.
Trump issued a statement on Friday night praising Dobbs.
"Lou Dobbs is and was great," Trump said in a statement emailed. "Nobody loves America more than Lou. He had a large and loyal following who will watch his next move closely, and that following includes me."
Dobbs & # 39; show ran at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern Time on the Fox Business Network, and he appeared intermittently as a commentator on the Fox News Channel.
Starting Monday, 5:00 pm The show is called "Fox Business Tonight" and is repeated at 7:00 pm.
In January, Fox announced that Larry Kudlow, a former top Trump economic advisor, would host a new weekday show on the Fox Business Network.
A new opinion show also started at 7pm. on Fox News.
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