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Tucker Carlson reps hold talks with Twitter over new media company

The discussions centered around the creation of a new video-centric media venture that could use Twitter as the tech backbone, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The discussions centered around the creation of a new video-centric media venture that could use Twitter as the tech backbone, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Former Fox News Channel commentator Tucker Carlson appears at a Turning Point USA event in 2018. (Photo by Gage Skidmore/File)

Representatives for former Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson have held at least one meeting with their counterparts at social media firm Twitter about starting a new media company, according to a report published on Friday.

The discussions apparently centered over plans to use Twitter as a technology backbone for a new media venture that has yet to be named or announced, and comes as Carlson and former White House advisor Neil Patel are looking to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the new company, the Wall Street Journal said, citing unnamed sources.

Carlson was dismissed from the Fox News Channel in mid-April, one week after the network’s parent company, Fox Corporation, settled a defamation suit brought by Dominion Voting Systems for nearly $788 million. E-mail messages and other records unearthed during the case showed Carlson disparaging senior Fox executives and other employees, which the network used to justify his dismissal.

Fox News is operated by Fox subsidiary Fox News Media, and attorneys for the outlet say Carlson still has a contract that precludes him from hosting a television program somewhere else. Since his dismissal, Carlson has posted short-form videos to his personal Twitter account, commentating on various political matters and current events.

Tech mogul and Twitter owner Elon Musk has said the social media website does not have a business relationship with Carlson for the video program. But the Wall Street Journal report published on Friday indicates Twitter has held at least one cursory conversation with Carlson’s representatives about a more-formal arrangement, one that would be rooted in a larger media operation that has yet to be announced or launch.

One plan being considered would see Carlson continue to distribute short-form video clips through his personal Twitter profile, while reserving larger videos and lengthier interviews for a subscription-based service that may or may not use Twitter’s technology.

The Carlson-backed media venture would have its own mobile application and website that are separate from Twitter, the Journal said, and the former Fox News host may ultimately decide not to pursue a business relationship with the social media platform.

Carlson and Patel have successfully launched one independent media venture in the past: The duo teamed up in 2010 to form the Daily Caller, a right-of-center website and podcast network. The venture was profitable just two years later, and became one of the most-dominant Conservative-oriented news and commentary platforms in the mid-2010s. Carlson sold his stake to Patel in 2020.

The Daily Caller helped launch the careers of several established journalists in Washington and beyond, including CNN host Kaitlan Collins and Daily Mail reporter David Martosko.

Carlson could easily move back to the Daily Caller, though it appears he is more interested in striking out on his own. The Journal said Carlson and his representatives have also held discussions with Red Seat Ventures, a firm that helped two other ex-Fox personalities — Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly — launch their own media brands (Kelly produces a podcast and a SiriusXM radio program; O’Reilly licenses his shows to The First and streaming service Vidgo).

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported CNN media correspondent Oliver Darcy began his career at the Daily Caller. He began his career at The Blaze.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).