Governor Palin and Fox News in Contract Dispute?

New York Magazine reported yesterday about the odd and sudden disappearance of Sarah Palin from the Fox News line-up on Wednesday evening.

Essentially, Palin and Fox are in the early stages of an elaborate contract negotiation. Palin earns roughly $1 million per year from Fox, making her the highest paid contributor at the network. Fox executives have been disappointed with her ratings; Palin has been disappointed by Fox’s decision to not give her top billing on bookings. According to sources, the relationship at times has gotten so bad that much communication has been conducted via Palin’s husband Todd.

Palin’s Facebook outburst surely didn’t endear her to Roger Ailes, who prizes message discipline and loyalty among his troops.

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For now, both sides are making peace. Fox offered an olive branch this afternoon and returned Palin to the conversation via a phone interview with Megyn Kelly. Later tonight, she’ll be on with Sean Hannity and Neil Cavuto.

As Ed Morrissey notes at Hot Air:

Well, that cuts both ways, does it not? Palin posted her Facebook “outburst” in response to a large amount of curiosity as to why she’d been removed from the air. Did Ailes believe that no one would notice if Palin the political correspondent suddenly stopped being present during one of the two biggest political events of the year? It’s a little presumptuous to think that Palin would maintain “message discipline” after being dumped from the programming.

Governor Palin brings a lot of conservative, grassroots credibility to Fox News in terms of influence with the Tea Party. It would be extremely odd for Fox News to throw that away during this important campaign season.

Sarah Palin with Judge Napolitano

I don’t know about you, but my sense is that Sarah Palin is chomping at the bit to get into the fray for the Republican nomination. She had a great discussion with Judge Napolitano on Fox News last night.

Notably, she did not go after any specific candidate but states that ANY current Republican candidate would be better than Barack Obama.

I did like her expressed concern about candidates not distinguishing themselves from one another. That seems to suggest that she would be more than willing to call out certain candidates (Romney?) for their stated positions on, say, Obamneycare. I’m sorry T-Paw, but you missed out on a fantastic opportunity to call out Romney on his Massachusetts healthcare plan. It was a major opportunity missed and I think dooms your ability to be the aggressor in this campaign. See ya!

BTW, I love the lead-in graphics to this video. I remember some of them on TV, when I was a kid.