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What's Next For Tucker Carlson After Fox News Departure?

Bill Speros for Bookies.com

Bill Speros  | 4 mins

What's Next For Tucker Carlson After Fox News Departure?

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Tucker Carlson and Fox News parted ways Monday, on a day that saw seismic shifts rock the media landscape. 

As of Monday lunchtime, gone was Don Lemon at CNN, soon to be dozens of employees at ESPN including the network’s long-time head of communications, and the CEO of NBCUniversal (for violating the company’s harassment rules).

But it was the split between Fox and Carlson that became the biggest headline in a day full of them. In a story cited by Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz, Mediaite reported that "it was a firing" and that Carlson was "totally surprised" by the move. 

Carlson has now completed the trifecta of TV cable news, having previously left MSNBC and CNN. Carlson’s last show was Friday, FOX said. It had dominated its 8 p.m. timeslot for years. Carlson averaged about 3 million viewers per night. 

Fox will now run a program called “Fox News Tonight” at 8 p.m., hosted by rotating Fox News personalities, until a permanent name is offered as a replacement for Carlson. Carlson’s executive producer Justin Wells also left the network. 

Carlson was Fox’s top-rated primetime host, netting an average of more than 3 million viewers per night, the most of any pundit on cable television.

Here is a clip of his last few seconds on the network from Friday.

Tucker's Fox News Goodbye

Last week, Fox agreed to pay $787.5 million to settle a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems in the wake of Fox News' coverage of false claims that Dominion's software manipulated vote totals following the 2020 election.

Carlson's output was part of Dominion's case against Fox News. In text messages related to the case, Carlson wrote that he hated Trump “passionately” and called Trump’s charges of voter fraud “insane." Carlson, however, interviewed Trump just two weeks ago on his show. 

Details were scarce about how the breakup between Carlson and Fox happened and whether it was related to the Dominion lawsuit or other cases pending against the network. 

What’s Next For Tucker Carlson?

Unlike others on cable news or network TV, Carlson is unlikely to follow the traditional path of other personalities who would have likely jumped from one channel or network to another. 

Here are our latest odds on what Tucker Carlson’s next professional step will be: 

Next Move Odds
Launches Spotify Podcast-110
Starts Own Network/Platform+300
Radio/TV Talk Show on Existing Network+500
Non-Presidential/VP Run+750
Presidential/VP Run +2500
Carlson & Lemon Join Forces+10000
Monday Night Football Gig+50000

These odds have been created by our Bookies.com handicapping team and are for entertainment purposes only. They do not reflect odds available on legal betting apps.

Carlson’s show was often seen as a platform for Republican, conservative and libertarian viewpoints. Multiple officeholders and hopeful officeholders were given a sense of legitimacy among Carlson’s viewers in the same way in which comedians once earned their notoriety by appearing on shows hosted by Johnny Carson, David Letterman, or Jay Leno. 

The media landscape is now driven by personalities and audience, not traditional branding. Carlson was a co-founder of the Daily Caller in 2010.

Joe Rogan has turned his Spotify podcast into a monstrous microphone. While Spotify doesn’t release download or listener numbers, it has been reported that he averages about 11 million listeners per podcast. His YouTube Channel has 12.8 million followers. 

Carlson himself has said he does not want to seek political office. He has a home in Montana. Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester is up for re-election next year and is considered a vulnerable Democrat. The two top Republican contenders for 2024, according to every poll thus far, are Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Trump. Both have appeared on Carlson’s show numerous times. Both of their bases are believed to be loyal to Carlson, as well. It would not be out of the question to envision Carlson as a running mate for either candidate. 

Carlson and Lemon were long-time rivals since Carlson’s arrival at Fox. Any pairing of those two opposites, even for a limited time, would deliver a huge audience and a big chunk of change. 

Carlson would be the first conservative political commentator to appear on Monday Night Football. Dennis Miller joined Al Michaels and Dan Fouts in the booth for two seasons starting in 2000. Miller and Fouts would eventually be replaced by the late John Madden ahead of the 2002 season. Rush Limbaugh briefly served as a host on ESPN’s NFL Countdown in 2003 before he was fired after saying Eagles QB Donovan McNabb was given extra credit for his team’s success because he was black.

About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.