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Greta Van Susteren is leaving Fox News

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Greta Van Susteren (Photo by Nancy Ostertag/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Greta Van Susteren, one of the top anchors at Fox News, has suddenly left the channel after 14 years.

And she will not have a chance to say goodbye on the air.

On Tuesday Van Susteren took to Facebook to explain her exit.

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,” she wrote.

The contractual clause to which she referred, a so-called “key man clause,” was triggered by Fox News chief Roger Ailes’ resignation in late July amid a sexual harassment scandal. Once Ailes left, she had a chance to leave too.

According to multiple sources, Van Susteren sought to renegotiate the terms of her contract after Ailes resigned.

Fox executives refused to negotiate, one of the sources said. So she chose to activate that clause.

The sources said Van Susteren had been unhappy with the way Ailes ran the network the past few years, and with the way the network was perceived.

“It didn’t appear it was getting better” after Ailes left, one of the sources said, so she looked to the exit.

Van Susteren said on Facebook that she gave notice to Fox last Thursday.

Kimberly Guilfoyle filled in for her last Friday. Brit Hume, the former 6 p.m. host who now serves as a Fox political analyst, is taking over Van Susteren’s 7 p.m. time slot until election day.

Van Susteren said that she hopes “to continue my career in broadcasting.” A former criminal defense and civil trial lawyer, she joined Fox News from CNN in 2002 and hosted “On The Record” for 14 years.

She cannot leap to a new network right away, however, due to the terms of her Fox contract.

Fox News announced Van Susteren’s departure just a few minutes after the channel’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, confirmed a $20 million settlement deal with Gretchen Carlson, the anchorwoman who sued Ailes in July, starting the chain of events that led to his ouster.

Van Susteren was not quoted in the announcement. But Fox News co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy jointly praised Van Susteren.

“We are grateful for Greta’s many contributions over the years and wish her continued success,” the two executives said.

Hume said, “I am happy to take on this assignment for the balance of this extraordinary election.”

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