Fox News keeping Sarah Palin on payroll

Sarah Palin, as former Alaska Governor, speaks at the 'Restoring Honor' rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
AP
AP

Fox News is not taking contributor Sarah Palin off its payroll despite moves that suggest she may be gearing up for a presidential run.

"We are not changing Sarah Palin's status," Bill Shine, Executive Vice President of programming for Fox News Channel, told CBS News in a statement. Palin earns $1 million per year as a commentator on Fox News.

In March, Fox News suspended contracts with a pair of contributors, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, because they were gearing up for presidential runs. The network said the contracts would be terminated after 60 days unless they declared they were not running for president. Gingrich has since announced his run, and Santorum will do so June 6.

Speaking of Palin and Mike Huckabee at the time, Fox News executive vice president of legal and business affairs Dianne Brandi said, "[a]s soon as each of them shows some serious intention to form an exploratory committee, we would take the same action."

Palin has not set up a presidential exploratory committee. She has been raising money for her political action committee, which cannot go to a presidential campaign.

Palin announced Thursday that she was embarking on a bus touracross the East Coast in what is being seen as a precursor to a possible presidential run.

"We'll celebrate the good things that bring Americans together; those things that will give us the needed strength to meet the heady challenges ahead," she said. "I've said many times that America doesn't need a 'fundamental transformation,' instead we need a restoration of all that is good and strong and free in America!"

Palin has also recently added to her staff and is believed to be moving to Arizona, where it would be easier to run a presidential campaign than in her home state of Alaska. There is also a celebratory documentary about Palin planned for release over the summer.