To those of us who follow media and politics closely, it was a story we expected and/or predicted: former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin won’t get a new contract to continue her (lucrative) gig at Fox News — the network that once perceived her as a must-have-hot-political-property commentator, so much so that they built a studio in her Alaska home.
Initial reports suggested Palin was offered a second contract but turned it down (sourced to Palin’s camp) — but other reports don’t state that as a certainty. Regardless of who said “buh bye” first, this now seemingly emerges as part of Fox News’ “course correction.”
What is certain: a)she is no longer a hot political property in media terms or in political terms as she was when Sen. John McCain picked her for his Veep candidate– a selection many analysts, and emerging political history not published by conservative book publishers now consider a huge mistake– and, b) Palin irked her boss, Fox News maven Roger Ailes.
And then there is this: Palin has become a kind of political personality versus a powerful politician or even once-powerful national politician. She today is a political celebrity in the way that in show biz you sometimes see celebrities who are famous for being celebrated: they really have no major artistic, or box office, or theatrical achievements and seemingly have a status above their actual accomplishment.
Palin’s biggest achievement since leaving was to champion and increase the clout of the Tea Party movement, and back many of the candidates they backed that purged the Republican Party of more moderate GOPers, or more traditional Republican conservatives. And some of those candidates most notably bombed at the polls.
Here’s a cross section of the reports.
—Real Clear Politics broke the story:
After a three-year run as a paid contributor to the nation’s highest-rated cable news channel, Sarah Palin and FOX News have cut ties, according to a source close to the former Alaska governor.
“It’s my understanding that Gov. Palin was offered a contract by FOX, and she decided not to renew the arrangement,” the source close to Palin told RCP. “She remains focused on broadening her message of common-sense conservatism across the country and will be expanding her voice in the national discussion.”
The source declined to say whether Palin would pursue a television contract with another news network, such as CNN.
Bill Shine, Executive Vice President at FOX, subsequently issued a statement to the New York Times confirming the news, saying, “We have thoroughly enjoyed our association with Governor Palin. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
After resigning as governor in 2009, Palin became one of the news channel’s marquee on-air assets, appearing frequently across its programming and often generating headlines for her memorable and characteristically provocative commentary.
Sarah Palin has parted ways with Fox News, multiple outlets wrote on Friday.
Real Clear Politics was the first to report that Palin — who reportedly signed a $1 million-a-year contract with the network in 2010 — will not be renewing it. The New York Times’ Brian Stelter later confirmed the news with Fox News.
A “source close to Palin” told RCP that she had turned down a new offer. Fox News merely told the New York Times in a statement that it wished her the best.
The news is not very surprising, but it does highlight, as much as anything, Palin’s diminished relevance. Reports about the increasingly icy relationship between Palin and Fox News CEO Roger Ailes have been circulating for years. He has mocked her in public, and is said to have privately labeled her “stupid.” Meanwhile, her public profile has waned as the years since her bid for the vice presidency grind on.
In August, New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman wrote that a new contract for Palin was a very iffy thing indeed. That report came the day after Palin publicly complained that the network had canceled some of her appearances.
“Sarah, where are you?” one of Sarah Palin’s 3.4 million Facebook fans wrote on her wall last week. “Has your contract with Fox ended?” another fan asked the day before.
Fox News has indeed parted ways with Ms. Palin, the former Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee, a Fox spokeswoman confirmed on Friday, reducing if not altogether ending her exposure to the channel’s millions of loyal viewers.
It was unclear whether the parting was Ms. Palin’s choice, but several people described it as amicable. Bill Shine, an executive vice president at Fox, said in a statement, “We have thoroughly enjoyed our association with Governor Palin. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
Ms. Palin, a prominent contributor to programs like ”On the Record,” last appeared on Fox News in mid-December. As of last week, she was negotiating with the network for a new contract. Her original contract, which started in January 2010 and ended this month, was reportedly worth $1 million a year to Ms. Palin. She had a small television studio built in her home in Wasilla, Alaska, for easy access to Fox’s viewing audience. Fox had no comment on the terms that had been offered during this round of negotiations.
A spokeswoman for Ms. Palin referred a reporter to an article by Real Clear Politics, the Web site that broke the news of the split on Friday. The article quoted an anonymous source as saying that Ms. Palin had decided not to renew with Fox, but “will be expanding her voice in the national discussion.”
Ms. Palin was represented in the negotiations by Robert B. Barnett, a Washington lawyer who has handled contracts for any number of television and political stars. Mr. Barnett did not respond to a request for comment.
Palin, who last appeared on the channel in December, didn’t renew her contract with Fox News, The New York Times reports. Or Fox News decided not to renew her — it’s unclear whether Palin or Fox decided to break off their relationship, or if it was mutual.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed our association with Governor Palin,” Bill Shine, executive vice president of programming at Fox News, says in a statement. “We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
Palin hasn’t commented on her departure. She joined Fox News in 2010 and appeared on various programs as a commentator.
A statement to The New York Times from the network, attributed to executive vp Bill Shine, said that FNC had “thoroughly enjoyed our association with Governor Palin” and wished her the best.
Things were not always cordial between the network and the outspoken pundit. “I’m sorry Fox cancelled all my scheduled interviews tonight because I sure wanted to take the opportunity on the air to highlight Senator John McCain’s positive contributions to America, to honor him, and to reflect on what a biased media unfairly put him through four years ago tonight,” Palin wrote in a Facebook post in August, when the network nixed Palin’s appearances in its Republican National Convention coverage.
There were other signs of discontent, too: Palin told syndicated talk show host Mark Levin, not one of her on-air colleagues, that she would not be running for president in 2012; she also posted a vitriolic response to the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in March of 2011 against FNC chairman Roger Ailes’ expressed wishes, according to New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman (who has reported extensively on the network).
Fox has undergone what Ailes called a “course correction” in recent months, with some of its talent vocally supporting gay marriage, among other concessions to centrist politics. Palin, beloved of Tea Party Republicans, may simply not have fit in with the network’s change in direction.
SOME BLOG REACTION:
—The Political Carnival:
CNN could very well be stupid enough and desperate enough to hire Former Half-Gov Jobless McLipSchmutz now that she’s out of work…
Wait, she turned Fox down? When someone as embarrassing and unprofessional as Sarah Palin turns you down, you know you’re in trouble. Then again, this is the network that rehired Karl Rove even after his Election Night debacle.
So do you think now that she’s unemployed, she’ll apply for government assistance?
As for expanding her voice, there is no way in the world that voice could possibly get any bigger, broader, louder, screechier, expandier, or more annoying…
If not politics, then what? Hard to believe she’d trade Fox for CNN. Maybe … Glenn Beck’s network, The Blaze? It had 300,000 online subscribers as of last summer and must have many more now, especially since Dish Network started airing it in September. And Beck’s aggressively trying to promote it, from making a bid on Current TV to gain a platform on basic cable to opening foreign bureaus in hopes of becoming a sort of libertarian alternative to Fox. She’d instantly raise the network’s profile and bring in new viewers. And there’s plenty of room on the programming schedule for her: The channel currently airs from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET with a two-hour block free from 2-4 so they could give her her own show if that’s what she has in mind. If I had to bet, I’d bet that’s where she goes.
–-Read The Week’s article, which includes some great Tweets.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled blogging to report that FauxNews has dropped Klondike Barbie’s contract! Yes, she has become too whiny, resentful and uninteresting even for Fox viewers!
What will she do now? Well, according to a source *close to Palin* “She remains focused on broadening her message of common-sense conservatism across the country and will be expanding her voice in the national discussion.”
*scuse me just a jiff* *SNORT, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! wipes eyes, sighs*
That is all. You may now return to your regularly scheduled blogging.