Fox News Drops Gingrich, Santorum

Yesterday, Politico broke the news that Fox News had terminated its contracts with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.  Both had been on suspension and without pay since early March, and both had been given a deadline of May 1st to decide whether or not they would go through with their potential presidential runs. As the WSJ noted, however, the initial suspension did not seem to affect the frequency of their appearances on the channel:

Despite the suspensions, both Mr. Gingrich or Mr. Santorum have been interviewed on the cable network, appearing about as much as they did when they were paid contributors. In the 65 days since the suspension was announced, Mr. Gingrich has appeared seven times and Mr. Santorum has made six appearances, according to a tally by Media Matters, a liberal watchdog group. In the 65 days before they were suspended, Mr. Gingrich made six appearances while Mr. Santorum made eight.

While all of this has been transpiring, both Sarah Palin and John Bolton remain paid Fox News contributors, and Mike Huckabee continues to host his own show on the channel.  Yesterday, Real Clear Politics had intially reported that Fox was giving Huckabee until the end of this month to make a decision:

Now, he may have to offer his decision by the end of the month. Republican operatives familiar with the deliberations at Fox News say that the network has told Huckabee he has until the end of the month to make up his mind about the race or he’ll be cut off, just as Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum were when the then-contributors were still in the consideration phase.

Both Huckabee and Fox were quick to dismiss this report, however. And though the channel has in fact reportedly talked to the former governor about his potential run, they have not raised the prospect of suspension.

Nat Brown — Nat Brown is a former deputy managing editor of National Review Online.

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