$100 Million Offer Made to Tucker Carlson for New Broadcast Role

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

On Tuesday, Valuetainment Television made a public $100 million, five-year contract offer to Tucker Carlson, plus ownership shares in the company. Carlson is still under contract to News Corp., however, and his Tucker Carlson Today shows are still in the archive lineup. But his sidelining has created a media feeding frenzy. Newsmax also seems to be in the hunt. Backchannels — and in the case of Valuetainment, a publicity-grabbing front channel — have opened up as media companies hope to steal market share on the Right from the Fox News Channel.


When Tucker Carlson Tonight was canceled by the Fox News Channel, the outspoken print and broadcast journalist completed a personal career trifecta. Who else has been kicked to the curb by CNN, MSNBS, and now FNC? Television does make strange bedfellows. It also says a lot about Carlson’s independent streak as a journalist that he has such a diverse group of opponents. He seems to have afflicted the powerful and comforted the afflicted right across the political spectrum.

WABC radio’s James Golden, aka Bo Snerdley, former call screener and friend of the late Rush Limbaugh, said Rush got sick and tired of being fired. After being let go seven times, Limbaugh decided he would never be fired again. Instead, he would own his product and sell it to distributors. Golden thinks Tucker Carlson is a prime candidate to do the same thing.

$100 million may not be that much of an offer, after all. It is in the range of what Carlson is getting now. And he was about to begin new contract talks with Fox. To clean up an old phrase, Carlson already has enough “buzz off” money to live out the rest of his days nicely. Like Jack Parr of early Tonight Show fame, Tucker could leave at the top of his game and let others scramble to the top.

While many conflicting reasons are given for taking Tucker off the air, they all can’t be true. It is broadly clear the decision was based on corporate logic and personality. Fox had eight times as much cash on hand as needed to execute a corporate takeover of Dominion Voting Systems. Instead, they chose to settle what seemed to be a frivolous lawsuit by Dominion. It is one Fox would likely have won on appeal once out of the biased Delaware political and judicial system.


This set off a chain of events. Fox’s risk assessment committee may have then come down against Carlson. None of the “suits” in the media management world are fully at home employing a talent with the irrepressible ability to commit free speech. Especially if the talent says unpleasant truths regulators and the politically powerful in Washington don’t want to hear. News Corp. needs friends in high places like any ambitious multinational, and it appears they will only rock the boat so far.

Related: The Fox News Feud With Tucker Carlson Is About to Get Ugly

On a personal level, according to Mark Simone of WOR radio, Tucker may have at some time said something less than charitable about the Murdoch family. More often than business textbooks might admit, having a friend in high places is essential to survival in corporate battles. Irritating the family that employs you can spell doom when a decision is kicked to the top. No risk assessment committee member ever lost their job by selecting a low-risk plodder over a talented risk taker; that is when you need a friend in a high place to protect you.

That said, being benched may not be the end for Tucker Carlson at the Fox News Channel. Rupert Murdoch has a history of giving up properties and positions to appease angry politicians and then reversing course. Under pressure from the late Democrat Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, federal regulators forbid News Corp. from owning print and broadcast media in the same market. Murdoch sold the New York Post and kept his broadcast holdings. When the political winds changed, he scooped the Post back up again, and it resumed being a thorn in the side of Democrats.


Wherever Tucker Carlson ends up, he has things to say that the public is anxious to hear. How long before the public gets its way?



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