Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Fox News Media announced Friday it canceled its highly rated show hosted by Lou Dobbs one day after he was named in a $2.7 billion defamation suit filed by voting technology company Smartmatic.
The media company didn't disclose why Lou Dobbs Tonight was benched from the Fox Business lineup. The show will be replaced by Fox Business Tonight with hosts Jackie DeAngelis and David Asman.
"As we said in October, Fox News Media regularly considers programming changes and plans have been in place to launch new formats as appropriate post-election, including on Fox Business -- this is part of those planned changes," a network representative said in a statement to NBC News.
Dobbs, 75, began hosting the program on Fox in 2011 after rising to fame on CNN.
In response to the news of Dobbs' departure, Trump issued a statement to The New York Times calling the host "great."
"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 was one of several defendants named in a 285-page defamation lawsuit filed Thursday by a voting technology company that accused the network and former President Donald Trump's lawyers of launching a "disinformation campaign.
"Defendants decided to tell people that the election was stolen from President Trump and Vice President Pence," the suit read. "They needed a villain. They needed someone to blame. They needed someone whom they could get others to hate. A story of good versus evil, the type that would incite an angry mob, only works if the storyteller provides the audience with someone who personifies evil."
Smartmatic, incorporated in Delaware with U.S. operations based in Florida, provided election technology and software only in Los Angeles County, Calif., during the 2020 presidential election, the company said, but defendants spread false information that it was used in many states with close outcomes. Defendants also invented the fake narrative that Smartmatic was a Venezuelan company run by corrupt socialist dictators and that Smartmatic stole the election from Trump and rigged it for Biden, according to the complaint.
Sommer Brokaw contributed to this report.