Tucker Carlson is going to ... Twitter?
After eight days of speculation about his post-Fox News future, Tucker Carlson announced Tuesday that he’s taking his audience to Twitter.
“Amazingly, as of tonight, there aren’t many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one remaining in the world — the only one — is Twitter, where we are now,” Carlson said in a three-minute video.
Calling Twitter “the place where our national conversation incubates and develops,” Carlson said he’d soon bring a new version of his Fox show to Twitter. “We’ll bring some other things, too, which we’ll tell you about it,” he added.
He gave no other information, but others are reporting that Carlson is giving up $25 million owed to him by Fox by violating a noncompete clause.
We’re back. pic.twitter.com/sG5t9gr60O
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) May 9, 2023
The announcement was cheered by conservatives on Twitter, including Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire, who recently took his podcast to Twitter and said “Forget YouTube. This is the free speech platform.” One person heralded the move as a “seismic shift” in how Americans consume media.
But others said that Carlson’s move made Twitter even more inhospitable to people concerned about what they perceive as a right-leaning tilt. “Twitter is becoming the go-to platform tolerant of & incentivizing hyper-partisan rhetoric,” wrote civil rights attorney Nora Binavidez.
With nearly 7 million followers, Carlson already has a larger audience than he had on Fox, where he regularly had more than 3 million viewers. Since his departure from Fox, he has gained nearly a million new Twitter followers.
Tucker Carlson bringing the most successful cable news show of all time to Elon Musk's Twitter is going to be the biggest seismic shift America's media landscape has ever seen.
Corporate media is dead.
Establishment narratives are on notice.
All of us are the media now.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 9, 2023
In his final days at Fox, Carlson had a sit-down interview with Musk, who has been increasingly embraced by conservatives since his purchase of Twitter. In that interview, Musk told Carlson, “it remains to be seen as to whether this was financially smart. Currently, it is not.” He went on to say, “But some things are priceless. And so whether I lose money or not, that is a secondary issue compared to ensuring the strength of democracy and free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy.”
There had been widespread speculation that Carlson might join a Fox competitor like Newsmax, or launch a podcast, like another former Fox personality, Megyn Kelly.
Carlson has consistently been the most popular personality on Fox, and his evening show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” is a ratings leader in the desired demographic of adults ages 25-54. The program averaged 3.25 million total viewers in March, according to AdWeek.
Fox is temporarily airing “Fox News Tonight” in his 8 p.m. time slot, with revolving hosts. The Washington Post has reported that the network has seen a “significant ratings drop” in Carlson’s time slot.