Fox News suspends contracts for Gingrich, Santorum
March 2nd, 2011
12:37 PM ET
2 years ago

Fox News suspends contracts for Gingrich, Santorum

(CNN) - Fox News has suspended the contributor contracts of both former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and will terminate the contracts on May 1 if both possible GOP presidential hopefuls choose to run for president.

Bret Baier, the anchor of Fox News' Special Report, announced on-air Wednesday that the suspension was effective immediately and for 60 days "unless they notify Fox that they are not running for president."

According to Baier, "This had been contemplated from the start, from the very beginning…This is Fox News policy, this is the announcement made today."

Santorum released a statement expressing appreciation for his time spent at Fox News but was not specific on the timing of the will-he-or-won't-he decision that triggered his suspension.

"I intend to use the months ahead to continue my evaluation of a potential presidential run, and I will make an announcement on my final decision sometime in the coming months," he said.

And a strategist close to the former senator tells CNN: "The news in no way affects the timetable of if and when he announces a race for the White House." In the past Santorum has indicated that he is in no hurry to make a decision and that any decision may not be made until summertime.

Gingrich's staff has not responded to a request for comment.

Whether contracts for other Fox News contributors who are mulling over a bid for the GOP presidential nomination will also be suspended remains to be seen. "This is Fox policy, this is the announcement made today. It does not preclude other announcements that may be made in the future," said Baier.

In an exclusive interview given to the "Los Angeles Times" Dianne Brandi, Fox News executive vice president of legal and business affairs, said the channel will make a decision on contracts with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who hosts his own show, "as soon as each of them shows some serious intention to form an exploratory committee." Indicating that the news organization would "take the same action," she continued "Huckabee is on a book tour, so I think his present intention is to sell books."

And of Palin? "She hasn't yet shown a serious intention to form an exploratory committee," Brandi told the paper.


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Rick Santorum
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Santorum is a puppet for the man, he sold his soul a long time ago, ask the people in pa why he no long there. This is an example of the kind of people that the Koch brothers/tea baggers/GOP want in office, ones that will sell their soul for a job,. Rick is one of those guys who bleeds religion but if he want to be like the folks on the hill he is going to have to learn to smile as he kills( the american dream)

    March 2, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. Duke13

    Both Gingrich and Santorum are as delusional as Moammar Gadhafi even thinking that either one could be elected POTUS.

    March 2, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    What next? Will the GOP divert funds from Public Broadcasting TV and National Public Radio to FOX? Take money from Sesame Street and give it to FOX?

    March 2, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. JamiJ

    Fair and Balanced? What a farce Fox News is. Posing as a legitimate news outfit. Don't get why any fair minded person would watch.

    March 2, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. erik

    I'm surprised at this. Is there some actual legal reason that Fox was forced to do this? Did the candidates themselves actually suggest this as a preemptive way to avoid the inevitable future criticism?

    I cannot accept that Fox would have done this from their deep commitment to "fair and unbiased" journalism. There must be an ulterior motive or reason.

    March 2, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. Ric

    Pity these two with their lofty aspirations. Pity the fool that sends them money in support of their dreams of power and glory. Neither have a rat's chance.

    March 2, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Four and The Door

    Bruce
    Why? We all know that FOX NEWS is a GOP-state run news organization.
    __________________________________________________________________________
    As this story kinda shows, Bruce it is not. It just looks that way because it can only be compared with other sources of news which are pretty much run by liberal Democrats. You should probably just watch a couple stories on Fox News and then watch how they are reported on MSNBC. Then tell us who has the slant.

    March 2, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. Americano

    I feel sorry for my friends in the south...since they trust and believe the fox news.

    March 2, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. jaywingfuller

    Sooo, are you telling us someone at FOX NEWS has ethics and a spine? Can't be true. But just for the record, I know for a fact that Mike Huckabee believes Newt was born in Dumbassistan to a couple of baboons and raised by a rouge band of flea-infested rodents (led by one Sarah Palin), while Ricky was born in the wilds of New Guinea to a mixed-race pair of near-sighted lizards. Neither Newt nor Ricky are Americans, but Huckeboy is a red-blooded, inbred, lily-white American racist.

    March 2, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Even without them, FOX STILL LIES!

    March 2, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. lgny

    It's about time. They either had to drop these candidates or drop the word NEWS from their name thereby shedding the last remnant of the myth that they actually are a new station.

    Rupert Murdock with his stable of presidential wannabes along with his media empire is clearly buying this election. One will eventually run while the others will form a tag-team to keep advocating his far right, big business agenda.

    We need to revisit our anti-trust legislation to forbid any one person from accumulating so much political power that he threatens to distort the fairness of our electoral process.

    Murdock owns several book publishers.
    Murdock owns Fox studios and stations
    Murdock owns Fox news
    Murdock hires most of the conservative candidates as news staff.
    Murdock publishes the same candidates' books.
    ....

    March 2, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Bill in California

    My you lib posters are SCARED to death of the conservative media aren't you? I don't necessarily like the leftist political leanings and influence of the main stream media but I find it unnecessary and frankly immature to bash a network. I merely ignore it. It does appear you protesteth too much!

    March 2, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. Nick , California

    @Bill55... Ha ha ha.. that made me spit up my drink!! Thanks for the lunchtime laugh!

    March 2, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. Stacey

    Run Newt. Run so I can watch your face when Obama beats the cr-ap out of you and the other GOP idiots! FOX Noise is a republican strong hold. So Run the imbecilla from Wasilla, run that bible-thumping hypocrite Huckabye-bye, run wimpy Pawlenty and boring can't-win-an-election Mittens Romney, run that tea party kook, Rand Paul, run that fat heart attack-just- waiting-to-happen governor, Christie, heck, run McOld again, LOL! Run em all. Obama still wins in 2012!

    March 2, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. NVa Native

    Why are they trying to look legitimate? Too little to late.

    Fox won't fool anyone, except the fools who watch fox.

    March 2, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  16. Sharon

    It looks like Fox News has bowed to pressure from our Govt! When does a News Network dictate when a candidate should have a certain deadline date to announce who is going to run against Obama in 2012? Yes–Dems have been dying to know about who their contender will be. This is surprising and disappointing about FOX NEWS DICTATING THEIR OWN TERMS ABOUT THE ANNOUNCEMENT DATE OF WHO IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT!

    The GOVT must have entered into the management part of Fox News–so THEY COIULD GET THEIR WAY! Dems better watch out–if there are so afraid of who their contender is and wanting to ASAP-then they (the Dems) don't have much confidence in their ability to win!

    March 2, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. geecee

    Why just these two? Is FOX kidding that the "others" haven't announced yet? Huckabee is just on a book tour? You know the guy wants to run for President. And Palin is too delusional to say "No, I could never do the job of President." She will milk her supporters for all they are worth, including Fake Noise Channel, and then come out and announce whether she will run or not. The woman is a charlatan if ever there was one. And what about the other Fixed Nut Contributors? Aren't there about five or six who have expressed an interest in running for President? Maybe they could all share the job, i.e. two months each, and maybe, just maybe, Palin could get through her two months on the job without resigning in the middle of her "term".

    March 2, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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