Less than one week after the network settled a $787 million lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems, Fox News and its number-one personality Tucker Carlson have parted ways.
- In the statement released early Monday afternoon (April 24), Fox gave no reason why Tucker Carlson is leaving the network, or what is next for the $25-milllion-a-year on-air personality
- He has hosted the top-rated show since 2016, attracting 3 million viewers per night. He had been with Fox News since 2012.
- At the end of Friday’s show, his last, he said: “That’s it for us for the week. We’ll be back on Monday,” suggesting that his departure was a sudden happening.
- Texts between Carlson and other Fox News hosts had cast doubt on President Donald Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential campaign had been rigged.
why it’s news
Tucker Carlson’s 8 p.m. show has consistently been near the top of the ratings for years—leading with a provocative monologue followed by guest interviews with political insiders, presidential candidates, and cultural personalities. Former President Donald Trump was a guest on the hour-long show earlier this month.
Fox News paid Carlson $25 million per year for his show alone, plus what he generated from Fox for his podcast activities.
Neither Carlson nor the network has said what is up next for the conservative commentator, but plenty of people are speculating. Few think that another network is a fit: Carlson’s conservative point of view would not be welcomed at ABC, CBS, or NBC, those in the media business say, nor would those networks be willing to pay anything near what Fox News pays Carlson now.
Many believe if Carlson gets back into media commentary, it will be on his own. One leading conservative pundit believes Carlson will launch his own conglomerate of media, featuring various podcasts and live events—with Carlson himself at the center of the operation.
There is precedent for such a move. Megan Kelly made the jump from Fox to NBC a few years ago and lasted less than a year before being pushed out. She now has The Megan Kelly Show popular podcast. And Spotify paid Joe Rogan $200 million to put his podcast on its platform, where he earns about $1.5 million for doing his show. Oprah Winfrey also left her comfortable mainstream media perch to launch her own show.
Carlson’s massive following would no doubt follow him wherever he goes, and with listeners come huge sponsorship deals.
tucker carlson’s possible options
- His most likely next platform is his own platform that is driven by his enormous personality and following. Tucker Carlson is a huge, powerful brand that could support numerous media vehicles, with other conservative personalities bolstering his star power.
- Other media outlets would love to have Carlson and his millions of followers: though the major networks are unlikely to want him, some smaller media brand looking to supercharge its following might be willing to make the investment. Think what his presence would do the following of the Daily Wire.
- A combination of many things: a weekly show with a network, his own podcast, speaking engagements, and sponsored appearances.
- And while it’s a long shot, his immense popularity might very well lead him to believe that he could secure the Republican nomination for president in 2024—with former President Trump in legal trouble and losing popularity, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis up in the air about his plans, and the remaining candidates fairly weak.
- Of course, he loves to fish and has a getaway in Maine—it’s conceivable that he is calling it quits.