New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter has confirmed that Fox News is hiring Brown. According to Stelter, Brown will be making his debut as a Fox news contributor on the February 13 edition of Hannity. Yahoo senior editor Beth Fouhy quotes Fox executive vice president Bill Shine saying Brown will bring “out of the box thinking” to the network.
According to Politico, former Republican Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is “in discussions with Fox News about becoming a contributor.” Brown, who recently announced that he would not seek Secretary of State John Kerry's former Senate seat, was given a huge boost by Fox News during his previous runs for office. During his successful 2010 Senate run, the network openly advocated for his candidacy, helped him fundraise, and smeared his opponent.
If hired, Brown's trajectory with regard to Fox News would mimic that of Sarah Palin. Palin signed a Fox News contract after the network lauded her 2008 campaign as Sen. John McCain's running mate. Palin has since left Fox.
In the lead up to the January 2010 special election to fill Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat, Fox repeatedly gave Brown a platform to reach their audience. During his appearances, Brown routinely directed viewers to his website to find out “how to help with donating and volunteering.” Former Fox News contributor Dick Morris took the advocacy a step further, pleading with Hannity viewers shortly before the election to “please, please help” Brown and “go to DickMorris.com ... to help elect” him.
Fox personalities like Stuart Varney and Charles Payne and the Fox Nation website all suggested a Brown win could lead to a stock market rally, with Varney telling Fox viewers, “your 401(k) could do well” if Scott Brown wins.
Fox & Friends' coverage of Brown in 2009 and 2010 was particularly fawning. The hosts speculated about Brown possibly running for president one day and once spent a segment playing with Scott Brown action figures:
After Brown took office, Fox was occasionally critical of him when he didn't adhere to a far-right legislative agenda. Nonetheless, during Brown's unsuccessful 2012 re-election campaign, Fox News once again supported him. Over the course of one three-day period in August 2012, the network spent at least 17 segments and 43 minutes of airtime smearing his opponent, Elizabeth Warren, over comments she had made about infrastructure spending and wealthy Americans.
Brown's decision not to seek Kerry's seat could open the door for Fox News contributor Keith Ablow to make his own Senate run. Ablow has indicated he would consider running for Kerry's seat if Republican leaders stand “united” around him and he does not have to face a primary challenger.
If that happens, a Fox News candidate would be turning into a Fox News contributor, allowing a Fox News contributor to become a Fox News candidate.
UPDATE: New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter reports that Brown's hiring is official. He notes that while Brown has said that he will not seek the Massachusetts Senate seat, he “could instead seek the Massachusetts governorship in 2014, but for now he'll appear pretty much exclusively on Fox, a powerful platform for anyone in the Republican party.” Thus a Fox candidate has become a Fox contributor, possibly in preparation to later become a Fox candidate once again.