Fox News Channel announced Monday that Bob Beckel will return to the network and rejoin the co-hosts of The Five.
From Western Journalism
“Bob was missed by many fans of ‘The Five’ and we’re happy to welcome him back to the show,” Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox and Executive Chairman of Fox News said.
Just in: Fox has signed Bob Beckel to return to The Five. He left after personal difficulties, but Rupert Murdoch says viewers missed him
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) January 16, 2017
Beckel, a co-host of the top rated show when it debuted in 2011, recently shared his excitement ahead of returning to the network Monday.
“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to go home again and join my television family around the table of The Five. I have no doubt it will be a vigorous yet entertaining debate.”
The liberal co-host, who joined the network in 2000 as contributor providing political analysis, was absent from the network for months prior to being let go by Fox in June of 2015. He was reportedly missing from the network because he had undergone back surgery and then rehabilitation therapy for addiction to prescription pain medication.
Beckel was regularly the center of controversy for making explosive statements on-air and swearing or flipping off co-hosts. He once drew criticism in 2014 from Asian-American politicians for using the word “Chinamen.” He faced backlash in 2013 for proposing an end to visas for students from Muslim countries following the Boston Marathon bombings.
After the frequent absences, Fox News dropped Beckel from the network in June of 2015.
Fox News at the time issued a statement saying the show could no longer be held “hostage” to his personal issues.
“We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold The Five hostage to one man’s personal issues,” the statement said. “He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him.”
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