The Fox News Channel has suspended the contracts of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum because both contributors are considering running for president.
Bret Baier, the network’s political anchor, announced the news on air Wednesday.
“The suspension is effective for 60 days,” he said. “Then on May 1, their contracts will be terminated unless they notify Fox that they are not running for president.”
Gingrich is expected to announce Thursday that he is meeting with advisors to explore seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, has indicated that he plans to participate in Republican primary debates.
Fox News still has tree other potential White House contenders on the payroll: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and John Bolton. The channel is expected to take the same action against them if they get closer to jumping into the race.
Gingrich, a contributor for the network since 1999, reportedly earned nearly $1 million a year as part of his two-year contract, which was set to expire in 2013.
Santorum was making a little under $100,000 a year at Fox News in a three-year deal, also set to expire in 2013, according to reports.
Huckabee earns around $500,000 a year in a deal that ends in 2012, while Palin earns $1 million annually in a three-year agreement that also ends in 2012.