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Greta Van Susteren: Former Fox News Host 'Incredibly Gracious, Generous', Says Franklin Graham

( [email protected] ) Sep 07, 2016 10:46 AM EDT
Evangelist Franklin Graham reflected on his friendship with Greta Van Susteren and her "generous and gracious" character after the 14-year-veteran of Fox News abruptly announced she was leaving the network.
Television personality Greta Van Susteren of FOX News Channel listens as Gary Pruitt, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Associated Press, speaks at the National Press Club (NPC) in Washington, Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Charles Dharapak, AP

Evangelist Franklin Graham reflected on his friendship with Greta Van Susteren and her "generous and gracious" character after the 14-year-veteran of Fox News abruptly announced she was leaving the network.

"Yes, I have left the Fox News Channel. On Thursday night, I made my decision and informed Fox News of my decision that I was leaving Fox News Channel per my contract," Van Susteren said Tuesday on her Facebook page. "Fox has not felt like home to me for a few years and I took advantage of the clause in my contract which allows me to leave now."

The clause in her contract "had a time limitation, meaning I could not wait," she continued. "I love my staff, I love my colleagues, and I love the crews. That is the hardest part of this decision as they are wonderful people. And most of all? I love the viewers -- even the ones who have gotten mad at me over the years and taken swipes."

Van Susteren added that "I hope to continue my career in broadcasting."

Shortly after the news broke, Graham, 64, took to social media to reflect on his ten-year friendship with the longtime host of the nightly news show and her husband, prominent DC lawyer John Coale.

"They are a class act," he said of the couple. "She has traveled with me and Samaritan's Purse to North Korea, Sudan, Iraq, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma, Haiti, and other places over the years, and she has always used her position to try to help people in need. She has also come to Alaska to visit and encourage our wounded veterans and their spouses on numerous occasions. We are deeply grateful to this incredibly generous and gracious individual. She is a professional with integrity. I look forward to seeing where Greta will go in this new chapter of her life."

Graham also encouraged fans to follow Van Susteren's Facebook page to "see what will come next."

Van Susteren joined Fox in 2002 after more than a decade as a legal analyst at CNN. She will be replaced, starting today, by senior political analyst Brit Hume, the network said. 

The news anchor and her husband, who wed in 1988, both adhere to Scientology, a controversial religion founded by American science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard which "seeks self-knowledge and spiritual fulfillment through graded courses of study and training."

Despite their religious differences, both Franklin Graham and his father, renowned evangelist Billy Graham, have referred to Coale and Van Susteren as "close friends." The elder Graham has also expressed admiration for Coale's strength and courage in his book, "The Reason For My Hope."

The evangelist has in the past issued high praise for Van Susteren; after she was named on Forbes' list of "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women" for the sixth time, he applauded her for using her "influence and her voice to shine a spotlight on people who need help".

Following Van Susteren's departure, Fox Network co-presidents Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine in a joint statement: "We are grateful for Greta's many contributions over the years and wish her continued success."

Tags : Greta Van Susteren, Greta Van Susteren exit, Franklin Graham, Fox News, Fox News anchor, John Coale