Conservative commentator Eric Bolling exits Newsmax

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Eric Bolling is leaving the right-wing cable channel Newsmax after a three-year run as a prime time host.

The network and Bolling issued a statement Friday announcing his departure.

"It’s time for Eric to embark on new endeavors," according to the statement. "Eric and Newsmax are grateful for their time together and proud of the work they have produced."

Bolling's program "The Balance" was on the air Thursday with coverage of the conviction of former President Trump in his hush-money trial. The host's website said he would announce his next project in the coming weeks.

A Newsmax representative said a news program with rotating hosts will air in Bolling's 8 p.m. Eastern time slot starting Monday. Bolling averaged 311,000 viewers in the hour during May, according to Nielsen, a decline of 34% compared to a year ago.

Newsmax has sought conservative viewers who find Fox News' generally friendly Trump coverage not friendly enough.

The network saw its numbers spike in late 2020 and 2021, when viewers unhappy about Trump's election loss abandoned Fox News.

Newsmax also experienced a ratings lift in 2023 after Fox News host Tucker Carlson was dropped from his show. But the network has settled into a distant fourth place, drawing about a fraction of the ratings for leader Fox News.

Newsmax has also battled to get fees from pay TV operators who carry the channel.

Bolling became a familiar cable talking head through his work on Fox News. He was a co-host on the popular roundtable program "The Five" for six years. He left Fox News in September 2017, following an investigation into allegations that he sent unsolicited photos of male genitalia to current former female colleagues at the network.

Read more: From Orange County to the Texas border: How Bill Melugin became a Fox News fixture

Bolling and the network "agreed to part ways amicably," Fox News said in a statement issued at the time.

A onetime commodities trader, Bolling started in television as commentator on CNBC. He joined Fox Business Network in 2007 before moving to "The Five." He also co-hosted the short-lived "Fox News Specialists," which was canceled after his exit.

Bolling's departure from Newsmax occurs as the September trial date approaches for voting equipment maker Smartmatic's defamation case against the Boca Raton, Fla.-based network.

The suits allege that Smartmatic’s business was hurt by the statements made on the channel in the months following the November 2020 election that saw Joe Biden defeat incumbent Donald Trump.

Newsmax repeatedly aired claims that Smartmatic and its software altered votes to ensure Biden’s victory.

Smartmatic’s technology and services were used only in Los Angeles County during the 2020 election and not in any of the swing states that decided the presidential contest.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.