In a surprise move on January 5, Rupert Murdoch and Fox News announced that Tucker Carlson will replace Megyn Kelly in the all-important 9 p.m. ET primetime slot. Carlson’s success at Fox News and his time at the other two major cable news networks have made him one of the top-paid journalists on TV.
Carlson has been contributing to Fox News since 2009, after getting his start at CNN and then having a brief tenure at MSNBC. In November 2016, Carlson was given Fox News’ 7 p.m. ET timeslot, hosting Tucker Carlson Tonight. After just two months, he’s now moving to Kelly’s old slot. Kelly left Fox News for NBC News on January 4.
Carlson has been pro-Donald Trump and, as New York Magazine notes, interviewed the president-elect dozens of tiems during the campaign. That’s one of the reasons why Murdoch is a Carlson fan. His stellar ratings certainly helped him get the promotion as well.
The 47-year-old Carlson is married to Susan Andrews and the couple have three daughters – Dorothy, Lillie and Hopie – and a son, Buckley.
Here’s a look at Carlson’s net worth, what he does with his money and how he’s earned it.
1. Carlson Has an Estimated Net Worth of $8 Million
Carlson has an estimated net worth of $8 million, Celebrity Net Worth estimates. That’s much less than the other Fox News hosts who sandwich him on the network’s schedule.
Bill O’Reilly has a net worth of $85 million. Sean Hannity has an estimated net worth of $80 million, Celebrity Net Worth notes.
Carlson started his career in journalism at Policy Review before he was hired as a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Carlson wrote for several newspapers before breaking into television in 2000 as the youngest anchor ever hired by the network at the time.
He remained at CNN until Febraury 2005, following a bitter confrontation with Jon Stewart on Crossfire during the 2004 Presidential election. Crossfire itself was cancelled as well and Carlson found himself at MSNBC. Since his conservative viewpoint began to clash with the liberal pundits hired for primetime, he left in 2008.
Carlson joined Fox News in May 2009 as a contributor and hosted Fox & Friends on the weekends from March 2013 until November 2016.
2. Carlson & His Wife Susan Sold Their Washington Home for $4 Million, Then Moved to a $2 Million Home
Carlson tapes Tucker Carlson Tonight in Washington, D.C. Fox News confirmed in its press release announcing Carlson’s move to 9 p.m. that he will continue to be based in Washington.
In August 2011, The Washingtonian reported that Carlson and his wife Susan sold a six-bedroom home in the Kent, Washington, D.C. neighborhood for $4 million. They then bought a home that was just a mile away for half that price. That $2 million home has a two-car garage, seven bedrooms and six bathrooms.
3. Carlson’s Fox News Show Debuted to 3.7 Million Viewers in September, the Most-Watched Fox News Broadcast of 2016
Carlson Tonight debuted on Monday, November 14, 2016. Deadline reports that it drew an astonishing 3.7 million viewers, with 750,000 of them in the 25-54 demographic. The show easily topped the numbers posted by Erin Burnett OutFront on CNN. which only had 996,000 viewers that night, and MSNBC’s Hardball With Chris Matthews, which had 1,71 million.
Carlson’s debut was the most-watched broadcast on Fox News in 2016 up to that point, notes Business Insider.
In its press release, Fox News boasted that Carlson Tonight has averaged 2.8 million viewers in its first two months, up 23 percent in viewership for the 7 p.m. timeslot during the same period in 2015. Carlson is getting more viewers than MSNBC and CNN combined, according to Nielsen Media Research.
4. He Is a Longtime Supporter of Horton’s Kids, a DC Charity That Helps At-Risk Children
Carlson and CNN’s Jake Tapper are both longtime supporters of Horton’s Kids, a charity in Washington, D.C. that helps at-risk youths in the Wellington Park neighborhood. Most of the children who participate in Horton’s Kids events are in households with an annual income under $10,000.
In a 2013 interview with U.S. News, Carlson said that it was Tapper who told him about Horton’s Kids.
“I remember being on the road with Jake in ’99 when we were both reporters covering the presidential race and him telling me about [Horton’s Kids],” Carlson told U.S. News. “I had three kids by that point, weirdly, so our support has been from afar, limited to financial support, but I’ve always been a fan since the beginning.”
When Carlson appeared on Jeopardy! in 2004, he was playing for the American Camping Association and Wawenock Scholarships.
5. Carlson’s The Daily Caller Became Profitable in 2012 Without Every Buying an Ad for Itself
In 2010, Carlson and former Dick Cheney adviser Neil Patel founded The Daily Caller, a conservative news website. According to Alexa data, the site’s traffic has skyrocketed since July and it is currently ranked 2,364 in the world. It holds the 711 rank in the U.S.
The Daily Caller’s traffic also spiked during the 2012 election season. The New York Times reports that the site became profitable in 2012, even though it never bought an ad for itself. Over the first two years of the site’s existence, it saw its page views and total audience quadruple. Foster Freiss is one of the site’s backers.