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Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum contracts ended by Fox News

Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum would be dropped on May 1 unless they notified the network that they were not running for president.

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Former speaker of the house of representatives Newt Gingrich arrives to address the National Rifle Association's 140th annual meeting, on April 29, in Pittsburgh.

Keith Srakocic/AP

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Fox News Channel has ended the contracts of on-air contributors Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as the two former lawmakers explore White House bids.

The top-rated cable news network had previously said Gingrich and Santorum would be dropped on May 1 unless they notified the network that they were not running for president.

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A network spokeswoman confirmed Thursday that the contracts had been terminated.

A former House speaker from Georgia, Gingrich has been testing the waters for a presidential campaign and is expected to enter the wide-open race.

Santorum, a former U.S. senator for Pennsylvania, has established a presidential exploratory committee and frequently visited early nominating states.