Tucker Carlson Producer Once Fired by Fox News Returns to Cable News

Ivan Apfel/Getty Images
Ivan Apfel/Getty Images

A former Tucker Carlson producer, who was ousted from Fox News over an on-air chyron calling President Joe Biden a “wannabe dictator,” has found his way back to cable news.

Alexander McCaskill recently left his post with Carlson’s post-Fox media company to work at “centrist” cable outlet NewsNation. According to three sources familiar with the matter, he is now a producer on the primetime hour hosted by Dan Abrams, who has said he wants to reach the “marginalized moderate majority” with his nightly broadcast.

NewsNation did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The hiring of McCaskill, who was also named in an explosive lawsuit last year accusing him of workplace harassment and retaliation, seems to run counter to the “centrist” image that both NewsNation and Abrams are trying to sell.

Fox News Parts Ways With Producer Responsible for ‘Wannabe Dictator’ Chyron

Prior to Carlson’s termination from Fox News in April of last year, McCaskill served as a senior producer and managing editor of Tucker Carlson Tonight, which was the conservative cable giant’s top-rated show. When Carlson and his executive producer Justin Wells were abruptly fired just days after the network settled the Dominion defamation lawsuit, McCaskill continued to serve as a producer for the channel’s primetime programming.

That all changed last June, however, when Fox News sparked furious backlash for running an on-air graphic branding Biden a “wannabe dictator” during a White House speech. The chyron, which came after former President Donald Trump was arraigned for willfully mishandling classified documents, notably occurred during Carlson’s old time slot.

Fox News quickly responded to the controversy, releasing a terse statement noting the “chyron was taken down immediately and was addressed.” The following day, Carlson took to his online show to announce that the producer behind the graphic—later revealed to be McCaskill—had parted ways with Fox over the incident.

“Today was my last day at Fox,” McCaskill wrote in a private Instagram post at the time. “It’s been a wild 10 years and it was the best place I ever worked because of the great people I met. But the time has come. I asked them to let me go, and they finally did.” He had worked at Fox for a decade until his unceremonious exit.

This ‘Centrist’ Cable-News Channel Is Just Fox News Lite

McCaskill soon landed at Carlson’s post-Fox media venture. Earlier this month, however, it was reported that he exited and that Wells, who had been TCN’s president, was shifted to an advisory role as he launched his own production company. The departure of the two longtime Carlson confidants came as TCN’s viewership reportedly suffered a noticeable drop amid the ex-Fox star’s waning influence.

Besides the notorious on-air graphic that ended his Fox News career, McCaskill—along with Wells—was named in former Fox News producer Abby Grossberg’s bombshell lawsuit alleging, among other things, a toxic workplace culture.

According to her complaint, which was settled last summer for $12 million, Grossberg was subjected to misogyny, antisemitism, harassment, and a generally inhospitable workplace. Grossberg alleged that McCaskill and Wells were the ringleaders of an intolerable work environment.

McCaskill and the other Tucker Carlson Tonight employees named in the lawsuit have denied the allegations. “We deny Ms. Grossberg's claims and allegations against Tucker Carlson and his team. Nevertheless, we are glad that Fox has settled this matter and that all sides can move forward,” the Carlson crew said in a statement after Fox reached a settlement with Grossberg.

Bill O’Reilly’s NewsNation ‘Contributor’ Gig Is a Completely Confusing Mess

NewsNation, which finally became a full-time 24/7 cable news network this spring, has long sold itself as being a middle-of-the-road alternative for news consumers who are tired of partisanship. Abrams, the founder of media news site Mediaite and ABC News’ chief legal analyst, has made centrism and “both sides” analysis an overarching theme of his program.

“The goal long term is to have a level of consistency in the perspective of the show,” Abrams told The Hollywood Reporter last fall. “And that perspective is of the marginalized moderate majority in this country who have real concerns about the political extremes and are willing to either call them out or ignore them, depending on which one is more appropriate in a particular situation. But it is kind of stunning, the evolution of a cable news in the last few years, to see Fox go harder right, MSNBC go harder left, and to see CNN die on the vine.”

Despite the centrist posturing, progressives and liberal media have regularly derided NewsNation as “Fox News lite” and “just another right-wing cable network.” Much of this criticism has focused on the large number of former Fox News executives, hosts, and staffers that are currently on the network’s payroll. Several of the channel’s programs are anchored by ex-Fox stars, including Leland Vittert, Connell McShane, Blake Burman, and Anna Kooiman. The network’s correspondents include Fox News veterans Laura Ingle and Geraldo Rivera while NewsNation’s political editor is Chris Stirewalt, who was fired by Fox shortly after defending the network’s correct Arizona 2020 election call on the air.

NewsNation has frequently featured disgraced Fox News host Bill O’Reilly as a guest on its weeknight programming hosted by Vittert and Chris Cuomo, who himself was dumped by CNN amid a sexual harassment scandal.

Cuomo, meanwhile, recently sat down for a one-on-one conversation with Carlson that aired in primetime and represented the ex-Fox star’s own return to cable news airwaves.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.