'The Five' Host Suddenly Exits

Longtime political analyst Juan Williams announced Wednesday that he is leaving Fox News' early evening panel show The Five. Williams, who has been The Five's most frequent Democratic co-host and first joined the program in 2011, announced his exit during the "One More Thing" segment of the show. The announcement came after Williams contracted COVID-19 last winter, with the host citing his experience with the virus and the show's plans to return to the studio on Tuesday, June 1 as the reason for his departure.

Making the announcement, Williams said "this is my last day hosting The Five." He went on to explain that "COVID taught me a lot of lessons. As the show goes back to the New York studio, I'll be staying in D.C." Reflecting on his time on the show, he offered a message of thanks to fans, who helped "the show's popularity" grow yearly. He added, "thank you so much to you, the viewers."

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(Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images, Getty)

Following his announcement, Williams' The Five co-host Dana Perino introduced clips highlighting Williams' time on The Five. After the clip aired, Perina said it had been "a real honor and pleasure to work with you," adding that Williams "made a good decision for yourself and for your family. You will be missed but not too far away." His departure was later confirmed in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter from Fox News vice president of weekend programming Megan Albano.

"As Juan Williams announced on air today, he will be leaving The Five to live in Washington, DC full time," Albano said. "As we started planning The Five's return to its New York City studio at our headquarters a few months ago, Juan decided to stay in Washington, DC permanently. We accommodated his request, understanding and appreciating his desire to remain closer to his family and recognizing that a remote co-hosting role on a roundtable in-studio program was not a long-term option."

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Williams' last day on The Five was Wednesday, it was confirmed. Now down a host, Fox News plans to feature a rotating series of liberal cohosts until they find a permanent replacement for Williams. As for what's next for Williams, he will continue to be a political analyst on the network. Confirming his departure, Albano said, "while we will miss his insightful contributions each night and look forward to welcoming him on set whenever he's in New York, we are pleased to have him continue his longtime role as a senior political analyst with Fox News Media."