Is Sarah Palin's star fading?
Fox News, which helped the polarizing former Alaska governor remain in the spotlight as a regular contributor after Sen. John McCain's (and his running mate's) defeat in the 2008 presidential election, did not renew Mrs. Palin's contract, Politico's Mike Allen first reported. Her exit brings an end to a cable staple conservatives have loved and liberals have loved to hate.
Palin, who first signed on at Fox in 2010, will continue to make occasional guest appearances on Fox and Fox Business, according to reports.
The news comes as no surprise. Palin has been appearing on air less frequently recently. In fact, according to a Washington Post analysis, she only appeared on air six times in past year. "She’s been used so sparingly in recent months, I didn’t even know she was still under contract to this point," Mediate's Joe Concha confessed.
It's also not the first time Fox has dumped Palin. In 2013, Fox News failed to renew Palin's contract, then rumored to be $1 million annually, then signed her to a new deal that same year.
When she first signed on, Palin was a ratings goldmine. Viewers tuned in to see her commentary, which often made headlines. Fox installed a camera at her house, and she racked up nearly 40 primetime Fox News appearances in 2012, according to Nexis.
Why is Fox letting her go now?
"[E]xecutives consider her less relevant now," reported Politico, adding that "her appearances were sometimes hampered by the vast time difference with Alaska."
"Her star has faded in recent years, even among conservatives," writes CNN Money.
Her widely panned speech earlier this year in Iowa, alternately called "rambling," and "incoherent," didn't help. Nor did the headline-making quarrel Palin had with the biggest star on Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, who said her entrance into the 2016 presidential race could turn the election into a "reality show."
As Politico reported last year in a piece entitled, "The end of the Sarah Palin era," a poll found 54 percent of voters – including nearly two-thirds of Democrats, a majority of independents, and nearly four-in-10 Republicans – said they'd heard enough from Palin and would prefer that she be less outspoken in political debates.
Fox, it seems, has noticed.
But leaving Fox doesn't mean that Sarah Palin won't have an outlet for her views.
With 4.5 million fans on Facebook and 1.15 million Twitter followers, she's still incredibly popular.
She has a show on the Sportsman Channel, "Amazing America with Sarah Palin," continues to deliver plenty of speeches, and will announce a new publishing project soon. She will be active in upcoming 2016 primaries and her SarahPAC is going strong, donating to more than 40 candidates this week, reports Politico.
If history is any indication, as the 2016 race heats up, Palin will be not be silent.