Fired Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s relationship with his most recent network is about to take a turn for the worse. Sources say that the former highest-rated cable news host wants to either start his own media empire or take one of several offers from smaller networks that target his captive right-wing demographic.
The problem? His Fox News contract, which runs until January 2025 — or after the presidential election — likely has a non-compete clause that prohibits him from taking any similar work.
Brian Freedman, the big-time Hollywood lawyer Carlson has retained to settle his contract dispute with Fox, told news outlet Axios that “The idea that anyone is going to silence Tucker and prevent him from speaking to his audience is beyond preposterous.”
Fox News, which has seen its ratings plummet since removing Carlson, is reportedly paying him $20 million a year not to work — effectively sidelining the incendiary media personality.
There’s plenty on the horizon for the fired cable news host. Carlson has reportedly received offers from smaller rival networks like NewsMax and social media platform Rumble. According to Axios citing Carlson confidants, he is also “contemplating building a direct-to-consumer media outlet where his millions of fans could pay to watch him.” The move takes inspiration from his Fox News predecessor Bill O’Reilly.
Carlson and Twitter owner Elon Musk also reportedly talked about working together but did not elaborate on specifics. Carlson has only spoken once after he was removed from the network, and this was through a two-minute video on Twitter where he told his fans he will see them again. The video has now been viewed over 24 million times, less than two weeks after it was posted.
The plan may be to bully Fox News into releasing him from his contract, as Carlson “knows where a lot of bodies are buried, and is ready to start drawing a map,” according to a source from his camp.
Another Carlson friend also reportedly said that if the host previously wanted to deal with the matter quietly and cleanly, he’s since changed his mind. “Now, we’re going from peacetime to Defcon 1,” the friend said. “His team is preparing for war. He wants his freedom.”
Carlson seems to be very keen on being a voice in the next election cycle. The Washington Post reported that he’s already talked to former president Donald Trump about the idea of moderating a non-Republican National Committee-sanctioned primary debate. Trump has previously suggested that he’ll likely skip some of the early GOP debates because of his issues with the RNC and the media — plus, he’s currently leading polling by a vast margin.
Information for this story was found via Axios, Forbes, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.