Megyn Kelly and Chris Cuomo React to Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon's Firings

Megyn Kelly and Chris Cuomo have also faced controversy in their careers.

Megyn Kelly and Chris Cuomo have a thing or two in common with Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon. Kelly and Cuomo are weighing in on Monday's sudden firing of Carlson from Fox News and Lemon from CNN, offering both support and perspective to the situations. 

Kelly took to her eponymous SiriusXM show on Monday to weigh in on both exits. First, Carlson from Fox News. 

"This is a terrible move by Fox, and it's a great thing for Tucker Carlson," she said. "I don't know what drove Fox News to make this decision, and it was clearly Fox News' decision because they're not letting him say goodbye. That's my supposition. That's not inside knowledge." 

Kelly then brought up the speculation that Carlson's departure was connected to the Dominion defamation case. According to CBS News, Fox recently agreed to pay $787.5 million to settle the defamation case Dominion brought against them for claiming on-air that they helped rig the 2020 presidential election against former President Donald Trump.

"Tucker Carlson had very little to do with that case," Kelly claimed.

"He was not the reason for that $800 million settlement. So what do they do now in the wake of the settlement? They get rid of Tucker," she added with a laugh. "Talk about misjudging your audience yet again, yet again. Because trust me, I hear from the Fox News audience all the time, with whom I still have great relationships. Many, many, many viewers are now my fans on this show, and he's the only reason they watch a lot of them." 

Kelly previously spent 12 years with Fox News, leaving the network on good terms in 2017 for a gig at NBC that would allow her to spend more time with her family. A source told ET at the time that the move was not much of a surprise. 

"Everyone here is happy for her," the source said. "It's an incredible move."

Kelly ended up leaving NBC in 2019 after her show, Megyn Kelly Today, was canceled following the major backlash she received when she defended the use of blackface in Halloween costumes during an on-air segment. But her show had already been plagued with controversy since its debut in mid-2017, thanks to incidents like a widely criticized interview with the cast of Will & Grace, her seemingly encouraging fat shaming and a feud with Jane Fonda.

Kelly did apologize for her blackface comments in both an email to her colleagues and with a tearful apology to her viewers the very next day after the segment aired.

Later that year, in her first interview since parting ways with NBC, Kelly sat down with Carlson on Tucker Carlson Tonight

In her remarks on Monday, Kelly went on to speculate that Carlson may go "independent" with his own podcast or digital show next. "A lot of people think he's going to run for office. I don't think so," she mused. "I just don't think so. Tucker's got way more influence sitting behind a microphone than he does standing on a debate stage." 

Kelly then turned her attention to Lemon, who was let go from CNN on Monday and claimed that he only found out about the decision earlier that morning from his agent. 

"After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network," Lemon tweeted. 

The network quickly replied on its CNN Communications Twitter account, calling Lemon's claim "inaccurate."

"He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter," CNN's response reads. 

A source familiar with the situation explained to ET that CNN management’s offer to meet with Lemon came after the network told his agent that he was fired, and his agent in turn told Lemon. At that point, Lemon didn't see the need to meet with CNN management.

"He's not wrong. I mean, everybody knows I'm not exactly Don Lemon's fan, but he's not wrong that if that's true, that he was just told by his agent he was fired and they didn't have the balls to tell him man to man," Kelly said on Monday. "I mean, that's just classless. He's got a right to complain about that."

Meanwhile, Lemon's former CNN colleague, Cuomo, also chimed in on the "two very different situations" on NewsNation by issuing a scathing analysis of the media industry as a whole.

"All you're hearing is regurgitated and reflected agendas at play, OK? This is a demonstration as much as anything as how petty the media business can be," he said on air. 

Regarding Carlson, he noted, "I am not going to celebrate him being gone just because I don't like how he did his job. I know the feeling of losing your job without notice or warning or even understanding how it made sense, and it sucks. And I take no pleasure in other people's pain."

Cuomo was fired from CNN in 2021, less than one week after the newsman had been indefinitely suspended from his position as host of Cuomo Prime Time. The suspension, and subsequent firing, came as documents surfaced that indicated he was more deeply involved in helping his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, build a legal defense against multiple allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.

"This is not how I want my time at CNN to end but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother," he said at the time. "So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work."

During his time on CNN, Cuomo shared a close friendship with Lemon. 

"As for Don Lemon, look, that's personal for me," Cuomo said on Monday. "I wish him well and I'm sure he has more TV ahead of him if he wants. He's incredibly talented. I don't know much about what happened there, but I will say he loved working at CNN and he worked there a long time."

Cuomo then shifted his attention to the networks and their viewers.

"In both of these buzzy situations today, I do think you should examine how these companies chose to end their relationships with some of their main players," he said. "I wonder if it matters to you guys, because I'll tell you what, it matters to those in the ranks of this business. How the company treats you on the way out matters. And in case you need reminding, this can be a tough business. All business is tough, but I've been in a lot of different industries -- the media is tougher than anything I've ever seen. Even tougher than politics."

Lemon's firing came after he said on-air that 51-year-old Nikki Haley "isn't in her prime" while discussing her presidential bid. He later apologized for the remark.

Lemon was pulled off-air for his comment, but returned just days after, with CNN CEO Chris Licht promising in an email to staff that the anchor "agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn."

Months later, Lemon was the subject of Variety exposé that claimed he'd exhibited "troubling treatment of women and unprofessional antics" for nearly two decades. A spokesperson for Lemon called the report "patently false."

Former CNN anchor Brian Stelter told ET's Kevin Frazier on Monday why he believes the networks parted ways with their top talent and what could be next for the men.

Stelter believes that Fox didn't fire Carlson as a result of the settlement, but rather because of messages that came to light amid the case.

"Some of the emails and text messages from Tucker Carlson that came out before the trial were really embarrassing, but... there were a lot of messages still being redacted for public view and I believe there's material in those private messages that was incredibly ugly," he explained. "It gave Fox a reason to remove Carlson."

The network's other reason for axing Carlson could've been due to his popularity, Stelter speculated.

"Tucker Carlson actually became bigger than Fox News, which is something Fox never likes to see happen," he said, "so in some ways they cut him back down to size today."

By contrast, Stelter believes Lemon's firing shows that "the new management of CNN does not want Don Lemon representing the brand."

"I was not very surprised to see Don Lemon removed at CNN. In fact, what surprised me was that he was able to stay there for so long," he said. "It was pretty clear that the new management at CNN, which admittedly did remove my show, Reliable Sources, last year, was not going to be a fan of Don Lemon. He was moved from primetime to the morning show. They gave him a shot in the mornings, but it always looked like a demotion. Now clearly this is more than a demotion, it was a termination."