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Fox takes issue with Tucker Carlson’s Twitter show

The new video content is seen as a violation of Carlson's prior agreement with Fox, according to a report.

The new video content is seen as a violation of Carlson's prior agreement with Fox, according to a report.

A still frame from a video series published by Tucker Carlson on the social platform Twitter. (Image via Twitter)
A still frame from a video series published by Tucker Carlson on the social platform Twitter. (Image via Twitter)

An attorney for Fox News Media fired off a warning letter to Tucker Carlson and his legal representatives this week that accused him of breaching his contract with a broadcaster by producing and distributing a new short-form video series on Twitter.

The warning letter came a few hours after Carlson debuted his new show, “Tucker on Twitter,” with an inaugural episode that lasted around 10 minutes.

According to the business publication Axios, Fox News Media general counsel Bernard Gugar delivered a letter to Carlson’s attorneys saying the political commentator violated his contract with the network, which purportedly requires him to make his work exclusive to Fox.

“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,” the letter said, according to Axios. The Desk was not able to independently confirm the report.

Carlson was fired by Fox News Media in April, about a week after the network settled a high-profile defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems over various election-related claims made by Fox News talent and guests, including Carlson.

The conspiracy theories aired on Carlson’s highly-rated “Tucker Carlson Tonight” prime-time program were not the basis for his firing, according to people who spoke with The DeskInstead, he was dismissed after text messages and other records that were unearthed during the defamation case showed Carlson criticized network executives and other employees.

The network viewed these text messages to be in violation of a non-disparagement clause within his contract, and gave Carlson the option of parting ways with the network or being shown the door. Other parts of the contract are still in full force, according to a person familiar with the matter, and the network expects Carlson to abide by it.

Carlson’s attorneys view things different, telling Axios they feel Twitter doesn’t compete directly with Fox News, and that the videos filmed in his home and published on the platform are not comparable to his professionally-produced TV program.

“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, a lawyer representing Carlson, reportedly told Axios.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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