Fox News anchor Kelly Wright, who is suing the network for racial discrimination is to meet British authorities scrutinizing 21st Century Fox’s attempted $15 billion takeover of Sky. He will speak to the Competition and Markets Authority and then at a meeting in Parliament chaired by Ed Miliband, the former Labour Party leader, who has been a vocal opponent of the Fox-Sky deal.
Joe Lindsley, a protege of the late Roger Ailes, will also speak at the parliamentary meeting, which will explore the alleged “Foxification” of news in Britain. He will not, as has been reported, speak to the competition authority. Lindsley ran two newspapers for Ailes, who left Fox News amid harassment claims in 2016. Lindsley was said to be a close confidant of the late Fox News CEO before falling out with him in 2011. He now plans on self-publishing a book about fake news.
Wright has accused his employer of maintaining a culture where institutional racism blunts efforts to attract a more multicultural audience. Fox News has denied the claims. Wright’s comments to the CMA will be recorded but not made public until a later date.
Governance at Fox News has been seized upon by opponents of the Fox-Sky deal who say it is evidence that the Murdoch family would not be fit and proper owners of Sky. The U.K. feed of the channel has been pulled. Recently, British regulator Ofcom criticized Fox News for breaching the U.K.’s broadcast code while it was on air.
Fox owns 39% of Sky and wants to buy the rest of the European pay-TV giant. Sky has recommended the takeover to its shareholders. In its submission to the CMA, made public last week, Sky suggested that it might not be able to continue funding the Sky News channel if the deal is blocked.
The CMA probe is ongoing. When it delivers its findings, British culture minister Karen Bradley will rule on the Fox bid.