Fox News notified the lawyers of axed host Tucker Carlson Wednesday that he breached his contract with the network when he launched his show on Twitter this week, a new report revealed.
The network that let Carlson go in April informed the former primetime anchor’s lawyers that launching his own show on Twitter was a violation of provisions in the 54-year-old host’s contract with Fox News, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Axios.
“In connection with such breach and pursuant to the Agreement, Fox expressly reserves all rights and remedies which are available to it at law or equity,” Bernard Gugar, Fox News general counsel, noted in a letter to Carlson’s lawyers.
The letter went on to note that under the contract, “Mr. Carlson’s services shall be completely exclusive to Fox,” and the host was “prohibited from rendering services of any type whatsoever, whether over the internet via streaming or similar distribution, or other digital distribution whether now known or hereafter devised.”
Carlson launched the first episode of his new show, “Tucker on Twitter,” on the social media platform Tuesday. The episode’s views count was nearing 100 million as of Wednesday.
Closing the episode that talked about the dam explosion in Ukraine, Carlson said he hoped his Twitter show “will be the short wave radio under the blankets.”
“We’re told there are no gatekeepers here. If that turns out to be false, we’ll leave. But in the meantime, we’re grateful to be here,” Carlson said to end the 10-minute episode.
“Fox defends its very existence on freedom of speech grounds. Now they want to take Tucker Carlson’s right to speak freely away from him because he took to social media to share his thoughts on current events,” Bryan Freedman, Carlson’s lawyer, told Axios in a statement about Fox News’ latest move.
Carlson’s contract with Fox News won’t expire until January 2025.
The former host of Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was reportedly considering whether he should establish his own media outlet with a direct-to-customer system, his confidants told Axios in May.
“His team is preparing for war. He wants his freedom,” a friend of Carlson told the outlet at the time.
The outlet also noted at the time that Carlson was busy “plotting a media empire of his own” but he had to get out of his Fox contract first.
Carlson was ousted from Fox days after the network settled with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million in a defamation lawsuit.
“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,” the media giant said at the time.
About two weeks after Carlson’s removal from the network, his lawyers reportedly sent a letter to Fox, telling the company that the non-compete provision in his contract has become invalid after the network broke promises to its ex-host “intentionally and with reckless disregard for the truth.”
Carlson’s legal team accused Fox of breaking its promise not to settle with Dominion or take any actions that would damage the anchor’s reputation.
Meanwhile, observers have since commented about Carlson’s Twitter show, with some noting that the show didn’t have the same flare as his popular television segment and others seemingly impressed with the numbers.
“The debut video looked like a meager shell of Carlson’s former show. The production quality was bare bones,” CNN’s Oliver Darcy wrote.
Musk himself retweeted Carlson’s first episode, saying it “would be great to have shows from all parts of the political spectrum on this platform!”
Some influential figures also welcomed Carlson’s new venture, including Australian Sen. Ralph Babet, who said Carlson delivered “the best monologues in the business.”
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