×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Report: Fox News Paid Former PR Chief $8 Million in Settlement

Gawker cites book on Roger Ailes as source of friction with longtime exec Brian Lewis

The cost of keeping the business of Fox News out of the public domain? According to a new report from online news outlet Gawker, around $8 million.

Gawker reported Monday that the 21st Century Fox-owned outlet paid that sum to Brian Lewis, a former senior public-relations executive with the network,  in the wake of his dismissal earlier this year.

Lewis was named executive vice president of corporate communications at the top-rated cable-news network in 2006 and helped shape the network’s perception among the media. He was once known as a close adviser to FNC chairman and chief executive Roger Ailes, and his break from the popular cable-news unit raised eyebrows.

Gawker reported that the settlement came after months of back-and-forth. In a statement released in August, 21st Century Fox said an internal investigation into Lewis’ conduct “determined that he should be terminated for cause, specifically for issues relating to financial irregularities, as well as for multiple, material and significant breaches of his employment contract.”

In its report, Gawker quoted a source who suggested Lewis’ dismissal was less about any financial improprieties and more about his willingness to cooperate with author Gabe Sherman, whose unauthorized biography of Ailes is slated to be published in January.

The New York Times reported last week that Fox News had settled with Lewis, though no one from the network or its parent company would confirm the details. A Fox News spokeswoman referred an inquiry from Variety to Dianne Brandi, an executive vice president at Fox News. She did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. A spokesman for 21st Century Fox said the company declined to comment.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

  • Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton

    Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton to Head Programming

    Nexstar Media Group has become the nation’s largest owner of TV stations after completing its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. The deal creates a broadcasting colossus with more than 200 stations serving more than 100 markets, although a number of stations will be divested to keep Nexstar in compliance with FCC ownership limits. Nexstar, [...]

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    Judge Sides With Michael Jackson Estate in 'Leaving Neverland' Dispute

    A federal judge is leaning towards granting the Michael Jackson estate’s move to take HBO to arbitration in its dispute over the documentary “Leaving Neverland.” Judge George Wu issued a tentative ruling on Thursday in which he denied HBO’s motion to dismiss the estate’s case. Wu is expected to make the ruling final by the [...]

  • Homecoming

    Peak Storytelling Here as Podcasts, Short Form Ride New Wave

    The concept of peak TV is nothing new. But scratch the surface of original content these days, and it’s no longer about television — from podcasts and short-form video, storytelling itself is at a peak. Thanks to audio, video and other new platform companies including Gimlet, Quibi, Wondery, iHeartMedia and Serial Box, listeners and viewers [...]

  • Patti Smith Cambridge Folk Festival

    Patti Smith Muses Over the Many Ways to Tell a Story

    It’s Sept. 11, and Patti Smith has been thinking a lot about people who died. This is understandable. It is, of course, the 18th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and an annual time of mourning for New York City, the city that Smith adopted as her hometown 50-plus years [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content