Last week the reigning king of prime-time cable, Tucker Carlson, was abruptly fired with no forewarning to him or his millions of nightly viewers. Most observers of the abrupt and unanticipated firing point to the $787.5 million Dominion defamation lawsuit as the reason, which is fine with owner Rupert Murdoch whose pride and reputation prefer that no one know the true reason he acted so abruptly.
To be accurate the Dominion lawsuit was an indirect factor in Rupert Murdoch’s decision to fire Tucker Carlson, but in reality, there is a potential lawsuit far more frightening to Murdoch, that has nothing to do with the Fox Fake News channel’s standard operating procedure of lie-for-pay propaganda that defames anyone or any corporation. In addition to the potential lawsuit that Murdoch secretly fears, as of March 20, 2019, he is now less than half the powerful titan that he once was leaving him very vulnerable to all of those he has run roughshod over in the past.
Some of those Murdoch has run roughshod over in the past are cable and satellite providers such as Comcast, Spectrum, DirecTV, and Cox. According to Media Matters Murdoch has been able to raise prices and charge disproportionately high carriage fees for the Fox News channel, due to his history of deceptive and aggressive negotiating tactics during contract renewal talks with cable and satellite providers. Ever since a successful 2009 boycott of 300 advertisers of Fox and former Fox TV host Glen Beck, Murdoch switched his focus to carriage fees to make up for the loss in ad revenue. Murdoch has been so successful at forcing disproportionately high carriage fees that the Fox News channel could have zero dollars in ad revenue and still have at least a 35% profit margin.
This fact alone puts a lie to the thought that Murdoch fired Tucker Carlson due to fear of losing advertising revenue, also since Carlson’s show was cable’s highest-rated and was one reason Murdoch could demand the high carriage fees, the economics would dictate he not fire Carlson. Fox is about enter negotiations with 3 major cable providers, Comcast, Spectrum, and Cox over carriage fees to renew their…