NEW YORK (AP) — Ousted Fox News host Tucker Carlson is starting his own streaming service, promising to “tell the unadorned truth” to fans for $72 a year, he announced Monday.
Commentary, interviews, Carlson-flavored news reports and documentaries, even an advice show will be offered on the Tucker Carlson Network, which is essentially staffed by the people who used to work for him at Fox.
The new venture comes more than seven months after Fox abruptly fired Carlson, its most popular host. Fox never publicly explained the firing, and Carlson said on Monday that “it really is one of those mysteries that I’ll probably never get to the bottom of.”
“I want to wake up and say to myself, ‘You can say whatever you want,’” Carlson said, announcing his streaming service on The Megyn Kelly Show, a podcast and radio show hosted by fellow Fox News refugee Kelly, who has remade her career as an independent commentator.
“I’m going to do it without interference, period,” Carlson said. “I’m going to tell the unadorned truth — I hope gently and in the least offensive way as I possibly can. But I’m going to tell the truth until the day I die.”
Before being bounced, less than a week after Fox agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787 million to settle a lawsuit over coverage of the 2020 election, Carlson hosted what The New York Times said may be the most racist show in cable TV history, but by some measures the most successful.
He averaged 3.2 million viewers a night for the first three months of 2023, according to the Nielsen company. Fox’s ratings plunged immediately following his exit. Replacement Jesse Watters built the audience to 2.6 million in November in Carlson’s old time slot, and Fox said Watters has gained advertisers who didn’t want their commercials with Carlson.
Now Carlson enters the world of subscription services with a variety of products on his own network.
“The Tucker Carlson Encounter” will be a long-form conversation show, with singer Kid Rock and golfer John Daly among the first guests. “The Tucker Carlson Interview” will be a more formal question-and-answer session, like one he conducted recently with former President Donald Trump.
Both of those programs will be offered free on his website, at least at first, while material of his observations on “After The Tucker Carlson Interview” will be behind a paywall.
“Tucker Carlson Uncensored” will be similar to the opening monologue he aired on his Fox show, while “Tucker Carlson Films” will produce documentaries like he made for the Fox Nation online service — including a controversial one that cast doubt on the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.
The show “Ask Tucker Carlson” will feature the host answering questions from subscribers and giving advice.
Carlson told Kelly that while he’s “psyched to vote for Trump” in the 2024 election, he didn’t see himself as a potential vice presidential candidate, as some published reports have speculated.
“It’s just so unimaginable,” he said. “I haven’t led a life that prepares people for politics.”
But despite Kelly’s prodding, Carlson didn’t rule the idea out.
Carlson had partnered with X, formerly known as Twitter, for content after leaving Fox. He’ll still post material there, branded under his network, but said he determined X didn’t have the capacity to help him build out the service he needed.
Fox had no immediate comment on Carlson’s venture, or whether it would violate a contract with the host that reportedly ran through next year’s election.
Neil Patel, Carlson’s former college roommate who launched The Daily Caller website with him in 2010, will be CEO of the new network, running business operations. Justin Wells, Carlson’s former executive producer who was fired from Fox with him in April, will oversee content.
“I feel happy,” Carlson told Kelly. “I feel liberated.”