Fox News Channel has ended its contract with former half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, ending three years of her folksy political commentary, a Fox spokeswoman confirmed on Friday.
When Palin signed to deliver commentary on Fox, the former reality-TV star and political celebrity was a little more than a year removed from her failed vice-presidential run in 2008 and was considered one of the leading contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination. She had been such a popular and valuable presence on the channel that Fox even built her a small studio at her house in Wasilla, Alaska, so that she could have easy access to Fox’s viewing audience.
But there were some indications of tension between her and Fox News, leading to speculation that the two parties might part ways. In a 2011 story by The Associated Press, Chairman Roger Ailes was quoted saying, "I hired Sarah Palin because she was hot and got ratings."
Palin took to her Facebook page late last summer to complain about what she said was Fox’s decision to cancel her appearances during the third day of the Republican National Convention; Fox said it was simply because the GOP had to condense its speaker schedule due to a hurricane.
A search of Nexis over the past three months, for instance, reveals just three appearances by Palin on Fox News: Two on “Hannity,” On Nov. 2 and Dec. 3, plus another on “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren on Nov. 5, the Washington Post writes. Palin also appeared Dec. 19 on Greta Van Susteren's show, the Associated Press reported.
As of last week,according to the Times, 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 Palin. Fox had no comment on the terms that had been offered during this round of negotiations.
And it was not immediately clear if the decision was ultimately Fox's or Palin's. Still, executives at the channel wished her well: "We have thoroughly enjoyed our association with Governor Palin. We wish her the best in her future endeavors," said Bill Shine, Fox News' executive vice-president of programming, in a statement to the New York Times.
Palin did not post any comments on Facebook about her separation from Fox, but a spokeswoman for 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 Palin “remains focused on broadening her message of common-sense conservatism across the country and will be expanding her voice in the national discussion.”