Tucker Carlson is a media startup founder — again

When Tucker Carlson was fired from Fox News in April, no one thought the host, known for his shows that frequently advance racist ideals and conspiracy theories, would be off the air for long. He wasn’t, using X (formerly Twitter) as his platform of choice for distributing his videos — until Fox sent him a cease and desist. Now Carlson plans to expand on that content with his new media startup, Last Country.

Last Country will release longer videos behind a subscription paywall, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company raised $15 million through a SAFE note from 1789 Capital, Omeed Malik’s venture fund, which he says is focused on investing in companies that live in an emerging parallel economy that caters to those who champion free speech and is against “woke” ideals.

This isn’t Carlson’s first foray into being a media founder. He co-founded the Daily Caller, a right-wing news organization, in 2010 before selling his stake and stepping away in 2020.

But the Daily Caller was started during venture-backed digital media’s heyday of the late 2000s and early 2010s. Many of the high-flying brands from that time haven’t paid off for investors, and the current landscape looks mediocre at best. Vice raised multiple rounds of venture funding during the 2010s, $1.6 billion in total, and a $5.7 billion valuation to match in 2017. That didn’t last long: The alternative media startup struggled for years before it declared bankruptcy this year. BuzzFeed didn’t fare much better. It was once valued at $1.7 billion by investors. Now it’s a shell of itself and trading publicly at a market cap of $47 million.

But Malik told TechCrunch+ he doesn’t think that Last Country will fall to the same fate of many other media companies for a key reason: Advertisements are a nice to have, not a need to have, for its business model.

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