After months of speculation, Fox News announced Thursday that they have parted ways with “The Five” co-host Bob Beckel after a five-month absence from the network.
The news, which was first reported by Mediaite and confirmed by a network spokesperson, comes after Fox announced in April that Beckel had entered rehab for his addiction to prescription pain medication after back surgery earlier this year. Beckel had not appeared on the show since February 16.
According to a statement from Fox News Executive Vice President Bill Shine, Beckel “took tremendous advantage” of the network’s “generosity,” and the network had simply come “to the end of the road” with the much-maligned co-host.
“We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold ‘The Five’ hostage to one man’s personal issues,” Shine said in a statement. “He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him.”
Shine also said that Juan Williams and Geraldo Rivera will be taking over Beckel’s old spot. The two commentators, along with Julie Roginsky, have been holding down the fort in Beckel’s absence.
Beckel had been a co-host of “The Five” since July 2011, and first signed a contributor deal with the network back in 2000.