Tucker Carlson and a former White House lawyer are soliciting investors for a new media company that they hope will rival Fox News and use Twitter as its backbone, according to insiders who spoke with the Wall Street Journal.
Carlson, once the conservative megastar who commanded a nightly audience of three million viewers on Fox, hopes to build off his latest appearances on Twitter where his shorter monologues continue to rack up tens of millions of viewers with each episode. The venture would require hundreds of millions of dollars in investments and would be based on subscriptions that allow viewers to watch longer, uncut episodes that are teased on Twitter, where Carlson boasts nine million followers.
Fans of Carlson would still be able to watch his shorter clips on Twitter for free, insiders said, and the nascent media company would even grow to add other hosts as well.
Carlson and Neil Patel, a former advisor to Bush-era Vice President Dick Cheney, were roommates in college before they came together for their latest venture. Laying the groundwork, both have held high-level meetings with Twitter executives while lining up financiers, attorneys, and media strategists who have committed to helping get the new media company up on the airwaves. Insiders expect Carlson and Patel to put heavy emphasis on a standalone app that would give viewers a one-stop shop for all things Tucker Carlson.
To be successful, Carlson will need to navigate a media landscape that is not as forgiving as Twitter, where owner Elon Musk harbors a belief in free speech that has seen the reinstatement of former President Donald Trump’s account since it was banned under previous owners. The firebrand conservative is wary of relying on YouTube to carry his show and thinks he would likely face censorship issues.
Attorneys for Carlson and Fox News continue to wrangle how to free him from a multi-year contract intended to keep Carlson on the sidelines through the 2024 elections. Lawyers for the network have sent Carlson a cease-and-desist letter in response to his “Tucker on Twitter” monologues, and in response Carlson’s allies at the network have left in droves and leaked damaging information about Fox, including its hypocritical support for transgender employees.