Tucker Carlson attends the final round of the Bedminster Invitational LIV Golf tournament in Bedminster, N.J., July 31, 2022. Credit: Seth Wenig / AP

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has returned to Maine after his firing, with a British tabloid publishing pictures showing him working with a small crew last week at his Maine studio.

Carlson — who has long summered in the Bryant Pond village in the Oxford County town of Woodstock — was Fox News’ biggest star when the conservative news giant removed him from the air last month in an abrupt move that The New York Times said was in part due to a racist text message discovered in legal proceedings.

Speculation about Carlson’s next move ran rampant for weeks. Even though he is still under contract with Fox, he announced plans two weeks ago to broadcast a show on Twitter, the social media network owned and run by Tesla founder Elon Musk. It could play a major role in the conservative media ecosystem in time for a blockbuster 2024 presidential election.

Maine could be part of that nerve center, since Carlson owns a former public building in Woodstock that served as a satellite studio for his show. In a 2019 letter to the town, he said he spends four months per year in Bryant Pond, which he called his favorite place in the world.

His split with Fox News had ramifications for the studio. Carlson’s property manager in Maine, local carpenter Patrick Feeney, told The Daily Mail that Fox News came in recently and “got all their shit out of there,” including the set, equipment, furniture and false walls.

In an article that ran Tuesday, the tabloid published pictures of Carlson wielding an ax and other tools while working with a three-man crew to spruce the place up, showing pictures of his family at the site as well.

“We just came to clean it up and get it looking like something again,” Feeney said. “There’s no imminent venture. We’re just getting ready in case something does happen.”

Carlson, who lives chiefly in Florida, cuts a reasonably low-key figure when he is in Maine and has enjoyed lots of support in and around Bryant Pond despite his status as one of the more controversial figures in American politics. But he has been deeply sensitive to public attention in Maine as well.

In 2019, he said publicity from the Lewiston Sun Journal sank his plans for buying the Woodstock building, though he got it the following year. Also in 2020, he took aim on the air at a freelance reporter in Maine working on a story about him for the Times, accusing him of trying to publish Carlson’s address. The story never ran, and the newspaper said the host was aware that it never intended to publish his address.

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after three years as a reporter at the Kennebec Journal. A Hallowell native who now lives in Augusta, he graduated from the University of Maine in...