Even though he was stripped by of his prime-time on-air duties and told to leave the building two weeks ago, Tucker Carlson remains under contract at Fox News until 2025 and is still subject to non-compete clauses in the realm of conservative media.
Still, on Tuesday, Carlson took to Twitter, announcing a new show for the social media platform that he described as "a new version of the show we've been doing for the last six and a half years."
In the video post, that was accompanied by the simple text declaration, "We're back," Carlson didn't reveal any other key details, including start date for the new show. But as The New York Times suggested, the mere existence of the post may have breached Carlson's Fox contract.
In fact, the announcement itself seems to indicate that negotiations to end the contract with Fox aren't going very well.
According to Axios, Carlson's lawyers sent a letter to Fox, accusing the media company itself of fraud and breach of contract before he took to Twitter Tuesday.
Fox hasn't commented.
Responding to Carlson's post, Twitter's new owner, the also very polarizing Elon Musk, said, "I also want to be clear that we have not signed a deal of any kind whatsoever. Tucker is subject to the same rules & rewards of all content creators."
Musk, meanwhile, seemed to indicate that Carlson will be functioning within for-profit content creator monetization models that have yet to be revealed by Twitter.
"Rewards means subscriptions and advertising revenue share (coming soon), which is a function of how many people subscribe and the advertising views associated with the content," Musk added.
Whether Carlson is using the announcement as a negotiating ploy with Fox, or he thinks he's found a workaround to his contract situation, remains to be seen.
Those on the far right, including Musk, touted Carlson's allegiance with Twitter as yet another free-speech win for the embattled social platform.
Serving our own strident mandate of both-sides journalism, we'll also include a statement from progressive non-profit watchdog Media Matters:
“There is no shortage of flaccid hate peddlers on the internet, and on Elon Musk’s toxic Twitter, Tucker Carlson is now just another one of them," said Angelo Carusone, president of the org.
"... Be warned," Carusone added. "Elon Musk is continuing to double down on making Twitter a supercharged engine of radicalization. Any brands still partnering with Twitter, or using the platform to reach consumers, should be increasingly worried about what they are funding. Put another way, get out now before you become the advertising equivalent of Tucker’s new MyPillow.”
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!