Two high-profile media personalities, Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon, have been let go by their respective networks, Fox Corp FOX FOXA and CNN, which is owned by Warner Bros Discovery Inc WBD.
But how much were the networks paying the anchors?
What Happened: Carlson, who hosted “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News since 2016, made significantly more than Lemon, a 17-year CNN veteran, according to Forbes.
Carlson, meanwhile, was making between $15 million and $20 million a year — five-times more than Lemon.
Carlson’s hosting gig was one of the highest-paying positions in the industry and he boasted significant leverage in contract negotiations due to his loyal and dedicated following.
Why It Matters: Carlson’s program was the second-most-watched show on cable last year, according to Forbes, with an average of 3.3 million viewers each night.
In comparison, Lemon’s previous show, “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon,” attracted around 628,000 daily watchers.
The reasons for Carlson’s departure from Fox remain unclear. Observers speculate it may be related to the recent Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit, in which Fox paid a staggering $787.5 million settlement.
The exact reasons for Lemon’s departure remain unknown as well, but it is believed to be related to controversial remarks he made about women and aging in February, which were widely regarded as sexist.