Tucker Carlson’s Game-Changing Next Move?

Photo edit of Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson. Credit: Alexander J. Williams III/Pop Acta.
Photo edit of Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson. Credit: Alexander J. Williams III/Pop Acta.

According to sources familiar with the discussions, the potential candidate forum would likely not follow the traditional format of televised debates, but rather, Carlson and his team would take more control over the process. This includes potentially streaming the event live and inviting networks to cover it rather than having them dictate the rules.

Tucker Carlson’s interest in hosting candidate forums coincides with his reported receipt of calls from various networks interested in hiring him, the sources also stated according to Breitbart. Newsmax, in particular, has experienced a surge in ratings during the same time slot that Carlson formerly occupied on Fox News, making them a potentially appealing option for the host. Newsmax’s 8:00 pm time slot, which is currently hosted by Eric Bolling, saw its highest ratings of all time following Carlson’s departure from Fox News. The loss of Tucker Carlson Tonight viewers prompted some individuals to seek other networks, and Newsmax saw an uptick in its viewership.

According to Breitbart:

The former president and Republican primary frontrunner recently floated the idea of skipping the forums moderated by Fox News after the “hostile” network failed to seek his advice on the issue. According to the Washington Post, Carlson has spoken with Trump about displacing Fox News as the hosting moderator to “take a jab at his former employer”:

Carlson and his team have discussed the possibility of moderating a candidate forum outside of the traditional protocols surrounding the GOP primary debate system, according to two people familiar with the considerations. These people said the setup — as well as Carlson’s availability to take on that kind of role, given the noncompete constraints of his contract with Fox — remain unclear. But Carlson has personally expressed enthusiasm about the idea, according to people familiar with his comments. At least one major candidate — Trump — has told Carlson he’s interested, according to a person familiar with the exchange.

The former Fox host’s interest in a debate is said to stem in part from its potential to loosen the Republican National Committee’s grip on the process, as well as to challenge the role traditionally played by the major television networks. “He could go straight to the candidates, stream it live, invite the networks but maintain control over the process,” said one person familiar with the discussions.

“As of right now, the plan remains the same: pay out Carlson’s contract and keep him on the sidelines through the 2024 elections,” a source close to Fox News senior executives told Breitbart News last week. “They knew they would take a beating for this, but everyone — and I mean everyone — is pretty rattled. They weren’t expecting the blowback to be this bad. Hate to say it, but it’s clear that Rupert [Murdoch] has lost a step or two.”

According to reports, despite Fox News publicly stating that they intend to pay out Carlson’s contract and keep him away from the network until the 2024 elections, the controversy surrounding his departure has caused unease among the network’s executives. As a result of Carlson’s departure, some Fox News viewers have decided to seek alternative sources for news and political commentary. Some have even speculated that Fox News intends to use Carlson’s contract payout as a way to silence him and prevent him from commenting openly about the 2024 U.S. Presidental election, or joining another network.

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