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Tucker Carlson still on Fox payroll despite Twitter show

The revelation was made in a letter sent by a network attorney to Carlson's legal reps over a new Twitter show.

The revelation was made in a letter sent by a network attorney to Carlson's legal reps over a new Twitter show.

Former Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson appears at an event in 2022. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)
Former Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson appears at an event in 2022. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Fox Corporation has escalated its legal threats against Tucker Carlson for producing a new digital commentary show through the social media platform Twitter.

On Monday, business publication Axios said an attorney at Fox issued a formal cease and desist letter to Carlson and his lawyers over his new show, which debuted last week on his personal Twitter account. The cease-and-desist letter, which is typically sent before a lawsuit, came several days after a Fox attorney sent an informal letter informing Carlson of the network’s view that the Twitter show violated his contract.

The 10-minute show violates a non-compete agreement in Carlson’s contract, which is still in force, according to the letter. Fox continues to pay Carlson as required by his contract, despite effectively firing him in mid-April for breaching a non-disparagement clause in his agreement.

The Desk was not able to independently confirm the existence of the letter. A spokesperson for Fox News Media, the news and current affairs subsidiary of Fox Corporation, did not return a request for comment.

At the time of his dismissal, Carlson was the sole host of the highly-rated prime-time Fox News commentary show “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” He also produced a conversation program for the streaming service Fox Nation, where his last interview subject was Twitter owner Elon Musk.

Carlson’s legal representatives say the Twitter show doesn’t violate his agreement with Fox because they don’t view the program as competing directly with the channel. A new episode of the short-form digital series is expected to debut on Tuesday.

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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 10 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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