Tucker Carlson’s show on Twitter makes ad deal with anti-ESG shopping app

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Tucker Carlson speaks during the Politicon conference in Los Angeles, October 21, 2018

Rich Polk | Getty Images

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s new Twitter show has landed one of its first advertisers.

Carlson agreed to a seven-figure advertising deal with Public Square (PublicSq.), a shopping app that promotes itself as being the “starting point” for conservatives to battle environmental, social and governance policies, according to people familiar with the matter.

The people declined to be named in order to speak freely about an agreement that has yet to be made public. Representatives for Carlson did not return requests for comment before publication.

The move indicates that Carlson is looking to use his new program to lure conservative-friendly advertisers eager for a bigger platform. The show, which Carlson launched after Fox News parted ways with him in late April, draws millions of views, even though observers say the numbers have dropped since his first episode in June. Carlson’s show on Fox reportedly brought in $77.5 million in advertising revenue just last year.

Carlson’s departure from Fox News came after the network’s parent company settled Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit for $787.5 million. The host figured prominently in the public battle over the suit.

Carlson has become even more outspokenly conservative on Twitter than he was on his primetime show on Fox. The show drew criticism recently when Carlson hosted social media personality Andrew Tate, who has been accused by Romanian investigators of committing human trafficking and rape. Tate and his brother have both denied wrongdoing.

Fox News sent a cease-and-desist letter to Carlson as he was ramping up his presence on Twitter after his departure from the company, according to Axios. The outlet reported that Carlson is still under contract with Fox and that the company maintains his contract keeps his content exclusive to the company through Dec. 31, 2024. Carlson’s team responded to the letter in a statement: “Tucker will not be silenced by anyone.”

Carlson’s show appears to match well with the conservative leanings of Public Square.

Michael Seifert, the CEO of Public Square, previously discussed how the company wants to help take on ESG, which has become a target for Republican lawmakers at both the state and federal levels, right-wing officials and media figures.

“So there’s really this cool parallel economy ecosystem that’s been created. And it all starts with consumer spending. We hate ESG, we hate DEI [Diversity Equity and Inclusion], we talk about these policies all the time in the news,” he said in an interview with Breitbart News. “But the only way that we are going to topple those corrupt philosophies that are destroying our economy is by shifting consumer spending. And so we’re offering the easiest directory out there to go and do that as your starting point.”

Seifert declined to comment.

The Public Square ads are expected to start appearing on Carlson’s show in late August. Public Square is set to go public on the New York Stock Exchange in the coming days through a merger with Colombier Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, according to the Daily Mail.

A February press release for the merger said the deal “is expected to provide up to $158.5 million in cash” to Public Square. Colombier Acquisition Corp. is led by Wall Street veteran Omeed Malik.

The release said the company’s expected new board of directors, once it goes public, will include Seifert, Malik; Nick Ayers, who was an aide to then-Vice President Mike Pence; and former Arizona Senate GOP candidate and Peter Thiel ally Blake Masters. Ayers was initially involved with the Thiel-backed “anti-woke” bank GloriFi, but did not have a managerial role, according to The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported in November that the startup was shutting down.

Malik’s investment firm, 1789 Capital, is planning to be one of the early investors into Carlson’s new media company, the people said. It will be an eight-figure investment, and it will happen by the end of the summer, these people explained. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Carlson and longtime ally Neil Patel are looking to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the company.

Patel did not return a request for comment.

Malik, meanwhile, has started fundraising for two candidates for president: Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Carlson said on one of his recent Twitter show episodes that Kennedy, who has grown popular on the political fringes with his anti-vaccine views, is beating President Joe Biden in the Democratic primary. A June Quinnipiac poll shows Biden with 70 % support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters, while Kennedy has 17% among those same groups.

Omeed Malik, CEO, Colombier Acquisition Corp at the New York Stock Exchange, June 17, 2021.

Source: NYSE

Carlson has played an early role in the 2024 presidential election since his departure from Fox. He recently hosted the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa, where he interviewed six Republican presidential candidates.

1789 Capital also has ties to another key financier and potential investor in Carlson’s company: billionaire Republican megadonor Rebekah Mercer. PitchBook lists Mercer as an executive at 1789 Capital. The New York Post reported that Mercer and Masters are among a group of investors into a fund within 1789 Capital called called EIG, or entrepreneurship, innovation and growth.

Masters is listed on 1789 Capital’s website as a member of their board of advisors.

Mercer has a history of backing conservative causes. She and members of the Mercer family previously helped finance Breitbart.

Rebekah Mercer was also an investor into Parler, a social media platform intended to appeal to conservatives that was later shutdown after being sold. A spokeswoman for Mercer did not return a request for comment.

The Mercer family supported candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election. Rebekah’s father, Robert, donated over just over $15 million toward a super PAC that first backed Sen. Ted Cruz’s failed campaign and later Trump.

Robert Mercer was also an investor in the now-defunct data company Cambridge Analytica, which was accused of harvesting voter Facebook data to back both Cruz and Trump at different points. The company denied those claims. Rebekah Mercer was on the company’s board.



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