Will Sarah Huckabee Sanders End Up on Television?
"I do expect Sarah to sign up with Fox News, based on mutual interest," a former White House official says.
At the end of the month, Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be a free agent. Her boss, President Donald Trump, announced Thursday that Sanders is finally leaving her post as White House press secretary.
The president thinks she should run for governor of Arkansas, like her father, but there's another path many of her predecessors have taken: becoming a paid contributor for a broadcast or cable news network.
The question that's been raised in the last 24 hours is which, if any, television news networks would be willing to make her an offer. Sanders is beloved by Trump supporters and a star in conservative media circles, but is far less popular with moderates and Democrats who have decried her combative attitude toward the media.
ABC News, which hired Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a contributor last year, is not interested in her services, a network source tells The Hollywood Reporter. CNN is also out, while representatives for Fox News, MSNBC and CBS News have not yet responded to requests for comment.
Sanders makes regular appearances on Fox News and would be a natural fit for the network, which already employs two former Bush White House press secretaries, Dana Perino and Ari Fleischer. "I do expect Sarah to sign up with Fox News, based on mutual interest," a former White House official says. "Sarah is right at home with Trump’s base, even as she was ostracized by the mainstream."
CNN has long hired pro-Trump conservatives, including several current and former members of the Trump administration, but the network could face backlash for bringing on Sanders. "She’s told so many demonstrable lies from the podium when her job was ostensibly to be a reliable truth-teller," a veteran cable news executive says.
"I think any network that hires [her] faces backlash from their own newsrooms, not just viewers," says another television executive.
Media insiders have also pondered the future of Kellyanne Conway, who the U.S. Office of Special Counsel suggested be terminated this week for repeatedly violating the Hatch Act. The former White House official thinks Conway could also land at Fox News.
The cable news veteran thinks Conway has the better chance of landing a gig of the two, saying, "Conway is a political operative so might be forgiven for her constant spinning."
Sanders' predecessor, Sean Spicer, has worked on television since leaving the White House — mostly recently as a special correspondent for Extra — but never signed on as a contributor.