When Fox News pulled Tucker Carlson off the air abruptly on Monday, April 24, it didn't let him off scot-free: Carlson remains under contract with the network until January 2025 and is basically sidelined and silenced at Fox's whim during that time.
In essence, they are prepared to pay him $20 million a year NOT to work. Sweet gig unless you want to have an impact on the 2024 election, which sources close to Carlson say he does.
According to the Washington Post, Carlson wants to host an alternative GOP debate--which would thrill conservatives, candidates, and most of all former President and GOP primary frontrunner Donald Trump.
Carlson has also floated the idea of building his own platform to take his ideas directly to the public, similar to Fox News predecessors Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and to a lesser extent Megan Kelly.
Carlson has hired high-powered Hollywood lawyer Bryan Freedman to negotiate his Fox News exit, including possibly walking away from his contract and, presumably, some or all of the approximately $30 million left on it.
"The idea that anyone is going to silence Tucker and prevent him from speaking to his audience is beyond preposterous," Freedman said about the situation, but wouldn't elaborate on what Carlson's exact wishes and plans are.
Carlson has already had numerous offers of employment, including from Trinity Broadcasting, One America News Network, and Blaze TV.
The best offer he has probably had so far was from Newsmax, whose CEO Christopher Ruddy has essentially offered to rebrand the network around Carlson, according to the Post.
He could also end up on Twitter in some capacity, and has already reportedly spoken with Elon Musk about possibilities there.
Carlson's power in media is undeniable: he was Fox News's top-rated host with over three million nightly viewers, and the network's ratings are in freefall with him off the air and "fired" by the powers-that-be there.
It still isn't clear why he was taken off the air or which of the rumors about his removal are true.
In the end, it may not really matter the exact reason for his disappearance from Fox News airwaves.
He's going to return in some form, somewhere, and when he does, he will have a large audience ready to hear whatever he has to say.
It'll probably be more honest than what he was allowed to say at Fox News, and that will make it even better than it ever was before.