In an unexpected, the final episode of “Huckabee” that aired tonight. The former Governor announced he is leaving Fox News as he explores a presidential run.
His formal announcement will not come until May, but Huckabee will begin campaigning in Iowa, NH and SC.
He said "There has been a great deal of speculation as to whether I would run for President.
"I won't make a decision about running until late in the spring of 2015, but the continued chatter has put Fox News into a position that is not fair to them.
"The honorable thing to do at this point is to end my tenure here at Fox so I can openly talk with potential donors and supporters and gauge support.
"As much as I have loved doing the show, I love my country more, and feel it may be time for me to leave a zone of comfort to engage in the conflicts that have almost destroyed the bedrock foundations of America. I feel compelled to ascertain if the support exists strongly enough for another Presidential run. So as we say in television, stay tuned!"
Huckabee began hosting the program in September, 2008, months after he dropped out the race for the 2008 GOP nomination.
In 2011, he teased on the May 14 episode of “Huckabee” that he would make a big announcement.
At the time it was thought Huckabee would jump into the 2012 presidential race. Instead, the announcement was that he would be staying with Fox News.
Fox News executives have made it clear in the past, that any host or contributor who is eyeing a presidential run would have to step aside from the network. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum were both contributors when, in March 2011, Fox News suspended their contracts as they sought the GOP presidential nomination.
“Huckabee” is usually the most-watched show on Fox News on the weekends. Fox News has confirmed the network has amicably parted ways with Huckabee.