Tucker Carlson Leaving CNN; ‘Crossfire’s’ Demise Likely

Jan 5, 2005  •  Post A Comment

CNN/U.S. President Jonathan Klein told Tucker Carlson on Wednesday that the news network is not renewing Mr. Carlson’s contract. Mr. Klein’s decision likely means Mr. Carlson will end up on MSNBC’s prime-time lineup and that CNN signature show “Crossfire” has reached the end of its 22-year run as a stand-alone weekday show.

“His career aspirations and our programming needs just don’t synch up,” Mr. Klein told The Associated Press. “He wants to host his own night-time show, and we don’t see that in the cards here.”

MSNBC declined to comment Wednesday on what Mr. Carlson’s availability means. But MSNBC has been considering Mr. Carlson as a possible successor to Deborah Norville, whose hour-long show will leave the prime 9 p.m. slot on MSNBC’s lineup later this month.

CNN insiders expect Mr. Klein, who took over CNN late last year, to fold “Crossfire” into an existing vehicle such as “Inside Politics.” The famously bow-tied Mr. Carlson leaves behind “Crossfire” Democrats Paul Begala and James Carville and conservative commentator Robert Novak.

Mr. Carlson began hosting a weekly public broadcasting show show, “Tucker Carlson Unfiltered,” last year.