FILE - Tucker Carlson, host of "Tucker Carlson Tonight," poses for photos in a Fox News Channel studio on March 2, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News said Monday it has “agreed to part ways” with Tucker Carlson, its popular and controversial host, less than a week after settling a lawsuit over the network’s 2020 election reporting.

About the same time, CNN announced it had parted ways with longtime CNN Don Lemon, a little over two months after he apologizing to viewers for on-air comments about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley.

The twin departures were announced within minutes of each other.

Fox said in a press release that the last program of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” aired Friday. “We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” the press release from the network said.

CNN did not provide a public explanation for Lemon’s departure. But on the “CNN This Morning” co-host’s own Twitter account, Lemon contended the news came as a surprise to him and characterized it as a firing. He had appeared on his show that morning.

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“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned,” he wrote in a statement posted shortly after 12 p.m. Eastern. “After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network.”

Carlson became Fox’s most popular personality after replacing Bill O’Reilly in Fox’s prime-time lineup in 2016. He’s also consistently drawn headline for controversial coverage, including most recently airing tapes from the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection to minimize the impact of the deadly attack.

There was no immediate explanation from Fox about why Carlson was leaving. A text message to Carlson seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Fox agreed last week to pay Dominion Voting Systems more than $787 million and acknowledged that some of its reporting following the 2020 election — which allowed former President Donald Trump’s aides to amplify false charges of election fraud — was incorrect.

But that reporting mostly concerned other shows, not Carlson’s. His name did come up during the case, primarily because of email and text messages that were revealed as part of the lawsuit.

In mid-February, Lemon caused an uproar when, during a discussion on “CNN This Morning” with co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins about the ages of politicians, he said that the 51-year-old Haley was not “in her prime.” A woman, he said, was considered in her prime “in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s.”

Harlow challenged Lemon, trying to clarify what he was referencing: “I think we need to qualify. Are you talking about prime for childbearing or are you talking about prime for being president?”

“Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just saying what the facts are,” Lemon responded. He brought up the subject again an hour later, and was rebutted by commentator Audie Cornish.

Lemon issued a statement saying he regretted his “inartful and irrelevant” comments, which Haley herself called the comments sexist and used to fundraise. He was subsequently absent from the show for three days, returning the following week with a tweeted apology but no mention of the episode on air.

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