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Lou Dobbs Tonight

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lou Dobbs Tonight
Lou Dobbs Tonight (logo).png
Presented byLou Dobbs
Country of originUnited States
Running time60 minutes
Original networkCNN, later Fox Business Network
Original release
  • CNN:
    1980 (1980) – 2009 (2009)
  • FBN:
    2011 (2011) – 2021 (2021)

Lou Dobbs Tonight was an American political and financial talk program that was hosted by Lou Dobbs.

The program initially aired on CNN from its launch under the title Moneyline, as its main financial news program. The program later shifted to an opinion-based format focusing on political and economic commentary, and was likewise renamed Lou Dobbs Tonight. Field correspondents provided additional reporting and occasionally served as guest anchors. During Dobbs' tenure, prominent politicians and economists were regular guests on the show.

On November 11, 2009, Lou Dobbs stepped down from CNN. On March 14, 2011, Dobbs moved to Fox Business, hosting a new incarnation of Lou Dobbs Tonight. On February 5, 2021, Fox Business canceled Lou Dobbs Tonight after nearly 10 years on the channel, after a defamation lawsuit was filed against Fox News by Smartmatic over statements made by Dobbs and other Fox Business and Fox News anchors.


Luther Strange on Lou Dobbs Tonight in May 2017
Luther Strange on Lou Dobbs Tonight in May 2017

CNN era

Lou Dobbs Tonight began with the name Moneyline with the premiere of CNN, and was CNN's main financial show for over 20 years, for a large portion of those years airing on CNN International as well.

In late 1997, Dobbs hired former ABC News and NBC News Executive Producer David Bohrman to turn the program into a more general evening newscast, which would be called The Moneyline NewsHour. The program was half financially focused, and half general news. It was the first regular program at CNN to have its main control room outside of Atlanta.

As the show moved more towards general news and economic and political commentary, it was renamed Lou Dobbs Moneyline and then Lou Dobbs Tonight. The show was among CNN's most watched.[1]

On November 4, 2006, a taped weekend edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight, entitled Lou Dobbs this Week, began airing. The weekend show, which aired every Saturday and Sunday night, discussed issues from the past week and the week ahead.

On November 11, 2009, Lou Dobbs left the network, telling viewers that the night's episode of Lou Dobbs Tonight was his last and that "some leaders in media, politics and business have been urging me to go beyond the role here at CNN". Although he had a contract with CNN until the end of 2011, CNN agreed to release him early. It was announced that John King would host a new program in the timeslot, and that the transitional program CNN Tonight (initially hosted by John Roberts)[2] would replace Lou Dobbs Tonight in the meantime.[3][4][5] John King's new program, John King, USA, debuted in Lou Dobbs' timeslot on March 22, 2010.[6]

Fox Business era

On November 10, 2010, Fox Business Network announced that Dobbs would join the channel.[7] On March 3, 2011, it was announced that Dobbs' program would premiere on March 14, and that it would also be known as Lou Dobbs Tonight.[8]

Lou Dobbs Tonight would become the network's highest-rated series, especially during the presidency of Donald Trump—whom Dobbs regularly supported on-air.[9]

On February 5, 2021, Fox Business abruptly cancelled Lou Dobbs Tonight.[9] Dobbs was one of several anchors that had been named in a defamation lawsuit against Fox News by voting machine vendor Smartmatic, which accused the parties of spreading conspiracy theories alleging that it was responsible for voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election.[10] The program was replaced in its timeslot by Fox Business Tonight, which is hosted by various Fox Business anchors.[11]

Regular features

One regular feature on the show was "Exporting America", in which Dobbs documented the American companies that had outsourced jobs to overseas facilities, as well as those businesses that had taken special steps to keep jobs on U.S. soil.[12] Dobbs had compiled a list of companies that had outsourced that he had posted on the show's website and occasionally repeated on the air. Dobbs frequently criticized U.S. international trade policy as insufficiently protecting American jobs, advocating in favor of what many consider to be economic protectionism in contrast to free trade. As part of his criticism of globalization, Dobbs often noted that the United States is running trade deficits with virtually every major trading partner it has, especially China. As well, the journalist has published a book titled Exporting America: Why Corporate Greed Is Shipping American Jobs Overseas detailing the individuals and interests behind the exporting of U.S. jobs overseas.[13]

Another regular feature was "Broken Borders", which highlighted what Dobbs considered to be the problems and costs associated with illegal immigrants, and the inefficiencies in the U.S. Border Patrol and immigration policies in general. Dobbs has remained consistent on this view on the Fox Business Network as well.[14][15][16]

Correspondents and production

Kitty Pilgrim was a correspondent for the CNN version of the program, and the most frequent substitute anchor when Dobbs was not on. Other reporters attached to CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight included Dana Bash, Lisa Sylvester and Suzanne Malveaux. The show was broadcast live from CNN's New York studios, located in the Time Warner Center. The Fox Business version of the program originated from Studio B at the News Corp. Building, then towards the end, from a home studio on Dobbs' farm in Wantage Township in Sussex County, New Jersey.


Its highest-rated show in 2008 was the day after the presidential election—two million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data.[17] At Fox Business, he had maintained a multi-year lead as the top business program in his time slot and overall on television.[18]


  1. ^ Nielsen Media Research, June 2008.'08%20FINAL%20competitive%20P2%20Adobe%20(2).pdf%20-%20Adobe%20Acrobat%20Professional1.pdf
  2. ^ "Anchors to Rotate for 'CNN Tonight'". Retrieved 2022-09-22.
  3. ^ Bauder, David (2009-11-11). "Lou Dobbs leaving CNN for 'new opportunities'". Yahoo!. Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
  4. ^ "CNN's John King to replace Lou Dobbs". Retrieved 2021-02-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "John King to replace CNN's departing Lou Dobbs". Reuters. 2009-11-12. Retrieved 2022-09-22.
  6. ^ "CNN's newest show: 'John King, USA'". Retrieved 2022-09-22.
  7. ^ Lou Dobbs joining Fox Business Network Los Angeles Times November 10, 2010
  8. ^ "Lou Dobbs Will Debut on Fox Business Network in Two Weeks". Intelligencer. Retrieved 2021-02-06.
  9. ^ a b Stelter, Brian; Darcy, Oliver (2021-02-05). "Fox Business suddenly cancels 'Lou Dobbs Tonight,' its highest-rated show". CNN. Retrieved 2021-02-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Bromwich, Jonah E.; Smith, Ben (2021-02-04). "Fox News Is Sued by Election Technology Company for Over $2.7 Billion". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-02-04.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ "Fox News cancels Lou Dobbs' show; pro-Trump host not expected to be back on air". Los Angeles Times. 2021-02-05. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  12. ^ "Exporting America". Youtube. March 2009. Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  13. ^ Dobbs, Lou (11 May 2006). Exporting America: Why Corporate Greed Is Shipping American Jobs Overseas. ISBN 0446695092.
  14. ^ "Bernie Sanders gives facts of our economy". YouTube. June 2007. Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  15. ^ "Lou Dobbs on Arizona Immigration Law". Fox News. 2015-03-24. Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  16. ^ "Lou Dobbs On Bill S386". YouTube. August 2019. Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  17. ^ "Show Tracker". The Los Angeles Times. 2009-02-24.
  18. ^ Ellefson, Lindsey (2020-02-04). "Fox Business Network's Lou Dobbs Marks His 100th Straight Weekly Win Over CNBC". TheWrap. Retrieved 2020-11-14.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 March 2023, at 17:46
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