Greta Van Susteren abruptly left Fox News on Tuesday using an escape clause in her contract that could be used if Roger Ailes had left the network. Ailes resigned from the network in late July amid allegations of sexual harassment.
“We are grateful for Greta’s many contributions over the years and wish her continued success,” network co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy, in a statement.
Analyst Brit Hume will take over as anchor of On the Record until the election. Fox News has not announced what will happen to the show and the timeslot following the election.
“I am happy to take on this assignment for the balance of this extraordinary election. My Fox News colleagues have set a high standard for political coverage which I’ll do my best to uphold. I’m honored to be asked,” Hume said. Hume was previously the anchor of Fox’s Special Report and managing editor of the Washington bureau.
Van Susteren was one of a handful of personalities who had the clauses in their contract, but she is the first one to exercise that clause. Van Susteren explained in a Facebook post that there was a time limit to the clause, causing her to exercise it now. Van Susteren’s last On the Record was last week, so she will not have a chance to say goodbye to viewers.
Van Susteren publicly allied herself with Ailes during the initial controversy and often praised him on her blog, GretaWire. The blog was a popular website that Van Susteren ran and used to post polls and news about her network and others. When other news organizations were undergoing layoffs, Van Susteren would regularly post a “thank you” to Ailes and Fox News management for not having any layoffs.
Van Susteren has an active online presence with her Facebook page and a Twitter account that boasts over one million followers. She owns Greta.Com that had redirected to GretaWire, but Fox News has pulled the GretaWire website, so she has since redirected the website to the PetConnect Rescue group.
On Facebook, she wrote, “Fox has not felt like home to me for a few years and I took advantage of the clause in my contract which allows me to leave now. The clause had a time limitation, meaning I could not wait.”
She also wrote, “I hope to continue my career in broadcasting.” Where Van Susteren lands, if anywhere, is an open question as she wrote on Facebook, “I have not contacted any other networks to see if they might be interested.”
Van Susteren worked for CNN before jumping to Fox News. In 2013, she held talks with CNN about re-joining the network, but CNN passed and she subsequently signed a new contract with CNN. CNN’s sister network HLN is in the midst of a shake-up and is returning to its hard news roots, albeit continuing with a legal news focus. Van Susteren rose to prominence covering legal news and the O.J. Simpson trial on CNN and hosted a legal show called Burden of Proof for a period of time.