Is Tucker actually still on Fox News payroll?

Tucker Carlson addresses the public on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. (Video screenshot)
Tucker Carlson addresses the public on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. (Video screenshot)

Fallout from last week’s ouster of Tucker Carlson from his top-rated show on the Fox News Channel is continuing, with former Fox anchor Megan Kelly saying Carlson has not been fired and is actually still on the payroll of the network, which she claims is having an “existential crisis,” as leaked video emerges of Carlson trashing the Fox Nation streaming service.

“I want to, I think, break some news for you. Tucker Carlson hasn’t actually been fired. He’s still an employee of the Fox News Channel,” Kelly said on her SiriusXM podcast Thursday.

“What happened was, Suzanne Scott called him, she’s the CEO, on Monday, morning, and said he was not going to be allowed to do any more shows, and that he had been kicked out of his company email, and now they’re going to have to negotiate an exit. Some reporting to me suggests that she said it’s going to be an amicable parting. Right? Isn’t it?”

“Completely catching Tucker off guard. But Tucker’s not fired. That’s my information, that the still needs to negotiate the exit and right now he’s not free to launch a podcast or a digital show or negotiate with other employers because he’s still under contract.”

“They pulled his show off the air. They also fired his executive producer Justin Wells, and though he tried to find out why, they wouldn’t tell him. They refused to tell him why. I mean, to me, that’s just so disheartening.”

The network’s own news release April 24 never mentioned the word “fired” for Carlson, but tactfully stated: “FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.”

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Doug Billings of the Billings Report noted: “But, what does this actually mean? Fox will pay Carlson off but will try to keep him contained. He cannot even do a podcast if that happens. Carlson has a no-compete clause, so the longer they control him, he cannot appear anywhere. If they succeed Tucker will be tied up until December of 2024, after the presidential election. Carlson must try to get them to let him off the hook, which means he won’t receive any money from Fox, but he would stand to lose much more if he cannot be heard from for the next 19 months.

Billings continued: “Carlson had the largest audience on cable news and he won’t starve if Fox never gives him another red cent. He has already received three million-dollar offers since he was taken off the air. It all comes down to the deal the Tucker and Fox are able to make or the result of any lawsuit Carlson launches against the previous top name of cable news. Fox won’t give up easily. The last thing they want to do is compete with Carlson. Imagine what the stockholders would do if that would happen. They can’t be very happy as it is.”

Meanwhile, Kelly is sounding the alarm for the survival of the network she let in 2017.

“Fox News is in a downward spiral that they’re going to have to claw to get themselves out of. This is an existential crisis for the channel and its primetime, which is how they make money,” she explained Friday. “They live off of their primetime and the food has dried up.”

“You don’t need Fox anymore,” Kelly added.

“They’re not the monopoly in conservative media that they used to be – they’re just not. And so you take away the unique voice, the one thing that really is different over there. Tucker is different, he just comes at things from different angles … They’re taking away the one unique – truly unique – draw they had.”

Video leaked to Media Matters

On Monday, the left-leaning Media Matters for America posted behind-the-scenes video it said it obtained showing Carlson on his the set of his Fox Nation show “lashing out at Fox for the service’s ‘unbelievable’ failings.”

“I don’t want to be a slave to Fox Nation, which I don’t think that people watch anyway,” Carlson says in the leaked video, as he was preparing an interview.

“Nobody watches Fox Nation because the site sucks. So I’d really like to just put the – dump the whole thing on YouTube. But anyway, that’s just my view, OK. I’m just frustrated with it. It’s hard to use that site. I don’t know why they’re not fixing it. It’s driving me insane. And they’re like making, like, Lifetime movies. But they don’t, they don’t work on the infrastructure of the site. Like what? It’s crazy. And it drives me crazy because it’s like we’re doing all this extra work and no one can find it. It’s unbelievable, actually.”

“Meanwhile the scandalous footage is just Tucker making reasonable criticisms of Fox’s sh*tty streaming service,” opined best-selling author Matt Walsh on Twitter.

Fox News temporarily had Brian Kilmeade take over Carlson’s 8 p.m. prime-time slot last week, with its ratings reportedly evaporating.

Kilmeade is defending the network, telling Frank Moreno on his podcast that Fox “is just as strong as ever,” reported Becker News.

“I mean, put it this way. I mean, did Sean Hannity change? Did Laura Ingraham change? Did Bret Baier change? Did ‘The Five,’ the No. 1 show in all of television, change?”

“Tucker’s very different,” he added. “He’s the original thought leader. I’m with his team now. They’re unbelievable in terms of producers. You’ve got a great producing team here.”

Kilmeade also fired back at critics including Steve Bannon, a former aide to President Trump and current host of “WarRoom,” who has been urging viewers to completely abandon Fox.

“These are a bunch of people who think they can run this network and they can’t. And one thing I will tell you … no one tells us what to do,” Kilmeade said.

“No one – ‘Fox & Friends,’ three hours in the morning, three-hour radio show, you know, something goes wrong, we have media relations call and say, ‘What happened?’ That’s about it. So it’s the No. 1 show for 25 years. And I don’t think we have to curtail our format to make Steve Bannon happy.”

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Bannon responded on Gettr, suggesting the family of Fox owner Rupert Murdoch was using Kilmeade as a mouthpiece.

“The Murdochs try to punch back [at] ‘WarRoom’ with yapping puppy Kilmeade as he implodes in Tucker’s old slot,” Bannon indicated.

Lawrence Jones, who up until now has hosted “Lawrence Jones Cross Country” on Saturday nights for the network, will reportedly fill Tucker’s 8 p.m. slot this week as Fox samples a s series of hosts to replace Carlson. Jones is said to the “youngest black solo host of a cable news show in history.”

As WND reported, Carlson broke his silence last Wednesday evening, speaking publicly for the first time since his ouster.

‘They’re brain dead’: Tucker Carlson breaks silence after ouster from Fox

“When you take a little time off, you realize how unbelievably stupid most of the debates you see on television are, they’re completely irrelevant,” Carlson said.

“They mean nothing. In five years, we won’t even remember that we had them. Trust me as someone who participated.”

“Both political parties and their donors have reached consensus on what benefits them and they actively collude to shut down any conversation about it. Suddenly the United States looks very much like a one party state,” Carlson proffered.

“That’s a depressing realization, but it’s not permanent. Our current orthodoxies won’t last. They’re brain dead. Nobody actually believes them. Hardly anyone’s life is improved by them. This moment is too inherently ridiculous to continue and so it won’t.

“The people in charge know this. That’s why they’re hysterical and aggressive. They’re afraid. They’ve given up persuasion, they’re resorting to force. But it won’t work.

“When honest people say what’s true, calmly and without embarrassment, they become powerful. At the same time, the liars who have been trying to silence them shrink and they become weaker. That’s the iron law of the universe: true things prevail.”

“Where can you still find Americans saying true things? There aren’t many places left, but there are some and that’s enough,” Carlson concluded.

“As long as you can hear the words, there is hope. See you soon.”

Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeKovacsNews

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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