Bob Beckel, Fox News' Liberal Firebrand, Parts Ways With Network

06/25/2015 03:16 pm ET | Updated Jun 25, 2015
Noam Galai via Getty Images

Fox News has parted ways with liberal firebrand and "The Five" co-host Bob Beckel, the network confirmed Thursday.

Beckel had been with the network in various capacities since 2000, serving as one of the program's hosts since 2011. He left the show for back surgery in February. The network previously confirmed that Beckel had since sought treatment for addiction to painkillers.

"We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn't hold 'The Five' hostage to one man's personal issues," said Bill Shine, senior executive vice president of programming at the network. "He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him."

Fox News contributors Juan Williams and Geraldo Rivera are slated to fill the spot on the show vacated by Beckel.

Besides serving as a foil to the network's conservative mainstays Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, Beckel occasionally courted controversy in his own right, getting into hot water for comments about Muslims.

Even without Beckel, "The Five" has continued winning in the ratings, seeing an 8 percent jump in total viewership since his departure. The show has averaged nearly 2 million daily viewers since February, according to Nielsen.

Beckel did not immediately return a request for comment.

Gabriel Arana is senior media editor at The Huffington Post.

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