In a parting of the major conservatives, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News has axed one-time Alaska governor and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin as a news commentator.

Fox won't be renewing the contract for the bombastic shoot-from-the-lip Palin, and would only say that the break up is "amicable." Sources tell Politico that Fox considers Palin less relevant today — even among some conservatives — and that the four-hour time difference between New York and Alaska, where Palin broadcasts from her home studio, was often a problem.

She also had a major meltdown earlier this year with Fox star Bill O'Reilly, who said that participation by Palin in the upcoming presidential election could turn the race into a "reality show." She shot back that he's a "quasi-conservative" for not taking a possible race by her seriously.

Fox hired Palin for a reported $1m (£640,000) after boss GOP presidential candidate John McCain lost out to Barack Obama in the 2008 race. That made her the highest paid political mouth on the highest-rated channel on cable news. Fox dropped Palin for a time in 2013 but re-hired her later that year.

Palin, 51, will continue to make occasional guest appearances on Fox and Fox Business, and will appear on other network programmes, and still has a show on the Sportsman Channel. She remains a huge conservative force on Facebook, where she has 4.5m fans – twice that of Rand Paul, who has the biggest reach of the 2016 presidential candidate field. Palin also has 1.15m Twitter followers.

She'll remain heavily involved in GOP congressional and gubernatorial primaries for 2016, and many candidates have reached out to her for her support.