The weekend-long guessing game over the fate of entertainment blogger Roger Friedman is over: Friedman has parted company with Fox News after a controversial post in which he reviewed a leaked, incomplete version of 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Fox News said: “Fox News representatives and Roger Friedman met today and mutually agreed to part ways immediately. Fox News appreciates Mr. Friedman’s 10 years of contributions to building FoxNews.com and wishes him success in his future endeavors. Mr. Friedman is grateful to his colleagues for their friendship and support over the past decade.”
Friedman’s “Wolverine” item, which was posted on Thursday, drew instant fire from the blogosphere for what was seen as a tacit promotion of the download and review of stolen material. It was particularly bothersome to News Corp., the parent company of both Fox News and 20th Century Fox, because the studio could potentially suffer millions of dollars in lost box office receipts due to the illegal leak of the May 1 release.
Still, it appeared over the weekend that Friedman — a top traffic draw for the news site — might have escaped with his job intact. While News Corp. released a statement Saturday night saying that Friedman had been “terminated,” a Fox News statement issued Sunday was noncommittal and dubbed the incident “an internal matter that we’re not prepared to discuss at this time.”
But Fox News’ Monday statement put to rest any question of Friedman’s fate with the news operation.
“It was a great 10 years, and I have the utmost admiration for Roger Ailes,” Friedman said. “(It’s) now on to new adventures.”