Is Sarah Palin on the outs at Fox News? You betcha, says New York magazine.
According to Fox-watcher Gabriel Sherman, Palin is in the early stages of renegotiating her lucrative contract as a contributor to the network, where she earns a reported $1 million a year for occasional guest appearances on shows like “On the Record” and “Hannity.”
Palin’s current deal makes her the network’s highest-paid contributor, but she may not be for much longer. The former vice-presidential candidate, hardly known for her thick skin, is reportedly miffed at the network for not giving her appearance top billing, even though she no longer draws ratings the way she once did.
No doubt it doesn’t help that Palin is quick to take her grievances public, as she did this week when three scheduled interviews were canceled by the network. On Wednesday, as vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul D. Ryan was preparing to speak in Tampa, Palin posted a barbed statement on Facebook:
“I’m sorry Fox cancelled all my scheduled interviews tonight. I sure wanted to take the opportunity on the air to highlight Senator John McCain’s positive contributions to America, to honor him, and to reflect on what a biased media unfairly put him through four years ago tonight.”
The passive-aggressive complaining seems to have worked –- for now, anyway. On Thursday, Palin popped up on the several times on the network, and Fox spokesman Brian Lewis told New York, “We look forward to having a long and beneficial relationship” with the former governor.
If the rumors are true, Palin’s possible ouster from Fox would be a considerable blow for the vice-presidential candidate-turned-reality star and media gadfly, who has had a rough go of it in recent months.
Fox News chief Roger Ailes has taken to publicly dissing Palin, saying he hired her only because “she was hot and got ratings” and claiming she had “no chance” at being elected president.
At the Republican National Convention in 2008, Palin was the newly minted darling of her party. Four years later, Palin was most notable for her absence from this week’s gathering. Palin was either not invited or not interested in speaking this year. Either way, she put a positive spin on the situation, claiming earlier this month that she merely wanted “other voices” to be heard.
If Fox News does give Palin the boot, she and her family have at least carved out a niche in reality TV -- husband Todd is competing on the NBC series “Stars Earn Stripes,” while daughter Bristol is jumping from the poorly received “Life’s a Tripp” straight into “Dancing With the Stars” next month. It will be her second time on the show.
Follow Meredith Blake on Twitter @MeredithBlake