<p>Lou Dobbs</p>

Lou Dobbs

Fox Business

Fox News has dropped one of its veteran anchors Lou Dobbs following the host being personally named in a $2.7bn defamation lawsuit against the network.

Dobbs was known for effusively praising former president Donald Trump and promoted baseless conspiracy theories about election fraud after his loss in November.

Voting technology firm Smartmatic has accused Fox, some of its presenters and pro-Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell of waging a “disinformation campaign” against the company to falsely claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump. 

Lou Dobbs Tonight, which used to be broadcast on Fox Business, was cancelled the day after the lawsuit was filed.

Shortly after the announcement, Trump released a statement about Dobbs' departure: “Nobody loves America more than Lou. He had a large and loyal following that will be watching closely for his next move, and that following includes me.”

Dobbs had been the channel’s highest-rated host. 

Audiences reacted to the development on social media.

A spokesperson for Fox News Media said that the move to cancel Lou Dobbs Tonight was part of plans to "launch new formats as appropriate post-election”.

However, viewers noted the show’s stand-in host had claimed Dobbs was “vacationing” and, on what turned out to be the former anchor’s final broadcast, he had told audiences "join us here tomorrow”. 

Fox has now moved to dismiss the lawsuit and has defended its reporting of the US election.

In December, it ran a series of news packages debunking baseless claims of electoral fraud made on the network after a letter from Smartmatic had threatened legal action. 

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