According to multiple media sources, a few current Fox News hosts have contemplated departing the network to work with Tucker Carlson, who has been posting a version of his program on Twitter for months despite Fox’s warnings.
“Carlson’s Twitter move could have additional reverberations with talent at the network. A handful of Fox anchors have reached out to Carlson directly or had their surrogates contact him to say they are eager to join whatever venture he starts on Twitter when their contracts are up, according to sources,” Variety reported.
Carlson reportedly has a current contract with Fox worth $20 million per year. Therefore, he cannot join another network. His contract will not expire until January 2025, which is after the 2024 election, according to reports.
According to Variety, Dominion Voting System’s defamation allegations against Fox News were primarily based on statements made by Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, and Maria Bartiromo on shows broadcast after the 2020 presidential election. But because the business wanted to undermine Fox, it decided to exert pressure on the network to sever ties with one of its most prominent performers, Tucker Carlson.
Variety reported at the time that “that condition was intended to hurt Fox, and Tucker is just collateral damage.”
The insider continued, “Dominion wanted to punish Fox, and it’s working,” alluding to Fox’s precipitous drop in viewership in the weeks after Carlson’s termination from the network.
On April 26, Carlson spoke by phone with one of Fox Corp.’s eight board members, who told the host that his recent benching was a condition of Fox News’ settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the conversation.
The unnamed board member told Carlson that the condition does not appear in any of the settlement’s documents, and instead was a verbal agreement. If Fox didn’t comply, the settlement was off, Carlson was told. Dominion had plenty of leverage given that the $787.5 million deal to settle Dominion’s defamation suit against the network wouldn’t officially close until late May.
According to denials from Fox and Dominion, Carlson’s firing was not covered by the settlement agreement.
Carlson provided an update on the circumstances surrounding the network’s decision to remove him from the air in late April during an interview with British comedian and actor Russell Brand for Brand’s program.
Carlson stated in a show segment that he did not know the exact reason for his dismissal but had a clear understanding of it. He stated that he was unaffected by the separation.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Carlson said on Brand’s podcast, “Stay Free,” the former host’s first public interview since being axed by Fox, Newsmax reported. “They didn’t agree with me, of course, I don’t think.”
“It’s not the first time I’ve been fired … when you say what you think, there’s an expectation you can get fired. I didn’t expect to get fired that morning at all, so I was shocked. But I wasn’t really shocked … I wasn’t mad,” he noted further.
“The only thing that bothers me? I’m 54. When you get a little bit older … you can lose your drive … It’s a little bit too nice,” he said regarding his now-extended vacation in Maine, which has been filled with fishing and eating late breakfasts, he said. “My only fear has been … being a little bit too happy.”
In July, Fox News surpassed competitors with its redesigned primetime schedule.
Following the departure of Tucker Carlson, “Fox News Tonight” temporarily filled the vacated time slot with a series of guest presenters. On July 17, “Jesse Watters Primetime” debuted in that time slot to an average weekly audience of 2.4 million viewers.
Additionally, the time period for Greg Gutfeld was moved forward by one hour to 10:00 p.m. ET. Gutfeld! averaged 1.98 million viewers and 252,000 viewers between the ages of 25 and 54. It ranked last in this category behind Fox News’ “The Five,” which averaged 254,000 viewers. “The Five,” which averaged 2.59 million viewers, was the most-watched cable news program.