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Scott Brown leaves Fox after bristling at questions about launching campaign

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Palin’s new media venture 

Scott Brown leaves Fox after bristling at questions about launching campaign 

It’s been obvious for some time that Scott Brown is running for the Senate, even as he grew annoyed with speculation that he was doing just that.

Fox News announced Friday that it has terminated its contract with the former senator, right after he formed an exploratory committee to run in New Hampshire. And that was inevitable: you can’t be a candidate for office and a paid television pundit at the same time.

What’s odd is that Brown kept getting annoyed when journalists suggested he was moving in this direction. Even if he hadn’t made up his mind, he was clearly moving in that direction.

I happened to bump into him at Fox a couple of weeks ago, and he was still steamed over a Feb. 18 Boston Globe story that began like this:  

“Former US senator Scott Brown, a frequent presence on Fox News, is no longer under contract with the widely watched cable station, a development sure to fan flames of speculation about his potential US Senate bid in New Hampshire.”

The piece seemed fair to me, because it quoted a Fox spokesman as saying: “He is currently out of contract with the network."

Brown felt it was irresponsible for the Globe to publish without checking with him, though the story said he did not respond to a voicemail seeking comment. Soon afterward, Fox renewed Brown’s briefly lapsed contract.

Early in March, Brown clashed with Fox News host Greta Van Susteren over the same issue. Greta had tweeted: “I am told this is certain: Scott Brown is going to run for US Senate in NH.”

Brown promptly gave this statement to Politico: “I am not sure who she talked to, but it was not me. I know what the timelines are and when I need to make a decision, one way or the other. I will make my decisions in due course. Until I announce or file with the FEC, it is all just speculation.”

Well, maybe, but it was informed speculation. Senate campaigns don’t materialize out of thin air.

Once Brown got serious about challenging Jeanne Shaheen, he had to lay the groundwork for hiring staff and courting support in New Hampshire. It was not unreasonable for journalists to report on this.

Brown did not respond to my request for comment. But he tweeted that “I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Fox family. Their analysis & insight has helped hold politicians accountable for their actions, especially on Obamacare.”

Fox has been a good platform for Brown since his 2012 defeat in Massachusetts, just as many aspiring and temporarily sidelined pols use cable news deals to maintain their visibility. But he sure waited till the last minute to cut the cord.

Palin’s new media venture

Speaking of Fox folks, Sarah Palin appears to have lined up a new gig. Fresh off her CPAC speech and before her reality show starts, she has found a new way to stay in the public eye.

Says Capital New York: “Fox News contributor and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will be launching her own digital video channel, tentatively called ‘Rogue TV,’ a source familiar with the project told Capital.

“The channel will be available through Tapp, the digital video service founded by former CNN chief Jon Klein and former NBC Universal entertainment executive Jeff Gaspin.” 

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Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and the host of "MediaBuzz" (Sundays 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET). He is the author of five books and is based in Washington. Follow him at @HowardKurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz.