The Fox News Channel will play host to the first debate involving many of the Republican presidential candidates hoping to secure the top political office in 2024.
One person who won’t be there? The front-runner and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. That scoop goes to Tucker Carlson.
The interview with Trump will debut at the same time that candidates take the stage in Milwaukee, pitting Carlson against the television network where he saw his highest ratings.
In April, Carlson was effectively fired from Fox News Media, the subsidiary owned by Fox Corporation that operates the Fox News Channel. His abrupt dismissal came shortly after Fox settled a defamation case brought by Dominion Voting Systems over election-related misinformation perpetuated on Carlson’s program and others at Fox News and the Fox Business Network. His dismissal was not immediately related to the lawsuit, but was based instead on documents that showed Carlson disparaging executives and senior management at Fox.
The termination ended his daily 8 p.m. commentary program “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which was the highest-rated prime-time program across all cable news channels. It also halted the production of “Tucker Carlson Today” and “Tucker Carlson Originals,” two programs Fox News Media licensed from Carlson and his production company for their streaming service, Fox Nation. Carlson produced both programs from a remote studio at his home.
Since his dismissal, Carlson has been working to launch his own media venture, according to reports. The project is being planned with Neil Patel, a former White House advisor who worked with Carlson to co-found The Daily Caller more than a decade ago.
The interview with Trump could ultimately lead to more-meaningful discussions with current and potential stakeholders in the media venture, the Wall Street Journal speculated. One of those stakeholders could be Twitter (X) itself, though Musk has previously said he did not court Carlson to his platform and has no deal in place regarding the distribution of his videos (which have rankled some at Fox).
Whether or not talks progress to anything meaningful seems to depend on how well Trump’s interview with Carlson does over the debates on Fox.