Juan Williams is suddenly absent from Fox News ‘the Five’ – and insiders blame co-host Greg Gutfeld
Juan Williams, longtime liberal Fox News late-afternoon panel co-host The five, announced Wednesday that he was leaving the show.
According to several sources familiar with the matter, one of the main drivers of Williams’ sudden departure from the popular opinion show was his clashes with colleague Greg Gutfeld, who wanted The Five to return to the studio and felt Williams was the one. primary reason. they filmed from a distance.
A Fox News spokesperson denied that “Gutfeld had anything to do with the move” and referred to a statement by showrunner Megan Albano who explained that Juan wanted to stay in DC.
Williams, who has been on the show since 2011, was diagnosed with COVID-19 months previously, forcing the program to return to remote filming. The hosts had briefly resumed broadcasting from Fox News Studios in New York in the fall of 2020.
“This is my last day of accommodation The fiveWilliams said at the end of Wednesday’s show.
âCovid taught me a lot of lessons,â he added. âAs the show returns to the New York studio, I will be staying in DC. I’ll be working for Fox outside of Washington. My work as a Fox News political analyst will continue. “
Fox also intends to try a rotating series of Liberal commentators immediately afterward before choosing a permanent replacement for Williams.
âAs Juan Williams announced on the air today, he will be leaving The five live full time in Washington, DC. We are extremely grateful for her commitment to the show and her success over the past few years, âsaid Megan Albano, vice president of five and weekend programming, in a statement. âAs we started planning the return of The Five from his New York studio to our headquarters a few months ago, Juan decided to stay in Washington, DC on a permanent basis.
âWe responded to his request, understanding and appreciating his desire to stay closer to his family and recognizing that a remote co-host role on a studio roundtable program was not a long-term option,â he said. added Albano. âWhile we regret his insightful contributions every evening and look forward to welcoming him to the set whenever he is in New York, we are happy to see him continue his long-standing role as a political analyst. senior at Fox News Media.
While Williams’ presence on The five As the only liberal expert had always lent itself to heated debates and clashes on the air, tension seemed to be soaring in recent months, especially after the series returned to remote filming following the diagnosis of Covid of December from Williams. And generally, the tension was highest with co-host Greg Gutfeld.
In addition to having almost daily shoutfests with Williams during Five broadcasts, Gutfeld was also outspoken both behind the scenes and on air about his desire for the program to return fully to the studio.
A network insider told The Daily Beast that Gutfeld had been pushing Albano for some time to have Williams removed from The five, adding that Gutfeld was “really pissed that they weren’t all back in the studio together and he blames Juan for not being back.”
A former Fox News producer clarified, saying they were “very confident” that Gutfeld was behind Williams’ exit. A current staff member also added: â[Gutfeldâs] wanted the show to return to the studio for some time.
Additionally, Gutfeld and Williams rarely ever spoke in a quirky way, going to great lengths to avoid interacting with each other, something former and current Fox employees could attest to.
âI heard their on-air brawls were getting personal,â said another former Fox News producer. A current employee further noted that when “you have multiple narcissists on a show, that’s the type of shit that happens.”
âIt doesn’t surprise me much,â a recently departed Fox News staffer said of Williams’ exit. âGutfeld has been a rising star at Fox for quite some time and Juan is known to be involved in heated debates. So with these two ego opposing regularly, I could see it happening.
– additional reporting by Lachlan Cartwright and Noah Shachtman