by WorldTribune Staff, December 12, 2023
Is he the 21st century Walter Cronkite? Tucker Carlson subscription streaming service went live on Monday as the journalist who went where Fox dared not tread has apparently retained his credibility in a media arena that lost it.
The service, Tucker Carlson Network
(TCN), features multiple shows, interviews, short-form videos, and monologues.
Carlson remains under contract with Fox News, the Wall Street Journal cited people familiar with the matter as saying. Fox News's parent company and the Journal’s parent share common ownership.
A subscription to Tucker Carlson Network is $9 a month — or $72 for a year. It will initially be solely available through Carlson’s website.
"Some of the content is available without a subscription and will be ad-supported, while some interviews and monologues will be available exclusively to subscribers, who will have access to that content without ads," the Journal noted.
Soon after leaving Fox News in April of this year, Carlson launched a show on X — then known as Twitter. All of his episodes posted to X, including an interview with Donald Trump that was released at the same time as the first Republican primary debate, which Trump had skipped, will also be available on the new service.
"Carlson and his team explored launching TCN through X, but the company wasn’t able to move quickly enough to build out the technology they needed to run a subscription service," the Journal cited people familiar with the matter as saying.
Carlson will continue to post the service’s free content on X. His media company will also launch a new podcast, “The Tucker Carlson Podcast,” which will feature audio versions of that content.
Carlson’s team is exploring distributing the service through streaming-TV apps independently and through X, a source told the Journal.
Tucker Carlson Network’s chief executive is former White House adviser Neil Patel. Carlson and Patel were roommates at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, which they graduated from in 1991, and in 2010 teamed up to found the conservative Daily Caller news site, which Patel still controls.
The Wall Street Journal had previously reported that Carlson and Patel had lined up financiers, lawyers, and media strategists to work on the new company. The investment firm 1789 Capital, which has said it aims to capitalize on the opportunities that it sees left open by the “wokeness” of more traditional sources of capital, recently led a $15 million seed round into Carlson and Patel’s company, with other private investors, the Journal reported.
Red Seat Ventures, a company that has helped media personalities including former Fox News hosts Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly launch their own media businesses, is selling much of the advertising for TCN’s podcast, according to the people familiar with the matter. TCN also has an advertising deal with X, they said.
Carlson is expected to discuss the new service during an interview with Kelly for her SiriusXM show Monday.
Carlson was the highest-rated host in prime-time cable news when his show was abruptly canceled by Fox News in April. The move came just days after Fox News parent Fox Corp. agreed to pay $787.5 million to settle its legal battle with Dominion Voting Systems, which had accused Fox’s news networks of airing false claims by hosts and guests that Dominion helped rig the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election in favor of President Biden.
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