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Former Fox News star Tucker Carlson appears to have formally moved on from his one-time employer to the benefit of billionaire Elon Musk’s “X” platform.
X CEO Linda Yaccarino, whom Musk hired earlier this year, prioritized landing some sort of content deal with Carlson, and according to a report last week, it appears that a revenue-sharing deal has been struck between them.
The Washington Post reported:
On June 26, Yaccarino, Musk’s handpicked CEO, eagerly welcomed Justin Wells, longtime executive producer for Carlson’s show on Fox News, to talk about a potential partnership, a person familiar with the meeting said.
It was Yaccarino’s first day in the company’s New York offices — her office was festooned with “Welcome Linda” balloons — and she was trying to strike a deal. Forced from his slot as Fox News’s top-rated prime-time host, Carlson had been posting short videos to Twitter for weeks. But Yaccarino wanted to formalize the relationship and share advertising revenue. A Republican who hailed from NBC News, she aimed to recruit top television talent to X — part of an effort to make the platform more like YouTube or TikTok: a hub for original video content.
The deal was reportedly signed this month, which means there will likely be significantly more content from him on the platform, reporter Sarah Ellison said.
“Linda Yaccarino’s first day in X’s NYC offices, she sat down with Tucker Carlson’s longtime producer. They just signed a deal that is likely to result in lots more Tucker content here,” she said on X.
Last month, the new media company that Carlson founded after leaving Fox signed its first significant advertising contract. According to PublicSq. CEO Michael Seifert, the deal with the conservative-friendly shopping app is worth at least $1 million.
CNBC first reported in July on the agreement between Carlson’s new media company and PublicSq., days before PublicSq. began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. According to The Wall Street Journal, Carlson’s new venture is called Last Country.
With the presidential election of 2024 less than a year away, PublicSq. is the first of likely several other advertisers to move to partner with Carlson at a crucial time in national politics. According to Seifert, the PublicSq. commercials will begin airing in November on Carlson’s show on X (formerly Twitter) and continue through the end of the campaign year.
Seifert noted that the advertisements will also appear on Carlson’s other platforms, such as his website.
The app’s founders and leaders have opposed corporate efforts to improve the environment, society, and governance through financial investments. Seifert said that the product pitches will be integrated into Carlson’s show.
“People are going to be paying attention,” Seifert said. “Tucker is going to speak very candidly of the importance of patriotic small businesses, and if viewers want to support it, go to Public Square.”
Since its debut earlier this year, following Carlson’s contentious departure from Fox News, the show has reportedly amassed millions of views. Former President Trump and 2024 Republican primary candidate Vivek Ramaswamy are just two of the prominent conservatives who have been interviewed on the show.
After Fox News’ parent company paid Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million to settle a defamation lawsuit, Carlson left the network. The host was a key player in the suit’s public fight.
PublicSq. has stacked its board with Republicans since going public, including former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Nick Ayers. Kelly Loeffler, a former Republican senator from Georgia, has joined PublicSq.’s board of directors.
Carlson’s longtime business partner and executive at his company, Neil Patel, told CNBC in a statement that the PublicSq. app can balance out the likes of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the business lobbying giant, and the e-commerce behemoth, Amazon. After the Chamber endorsed several Democrats for seats in the House of Representatives, Republican leaders blasted the usually GOP-friendly organization.
“PublicSq. is a key company in the parallel economy, specifically countering the Chamber of Commerce and Amazon,” Patel said. “There is a wave of disruption coming to the media and economic establishment, and our companies will help accelerate this overdue shift.”