×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Costs Tied to Fox News Settlements Total $50 Million in 21st Century’s Fiscal 2017

The cost of improprieties at Fox News Channel continues to grow for the cable-news outlet’s parent, 21st Century Fox.

The media conglomerate, controlled by the Murdoch family, disclosed in a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had paid out $50 million in its recently completed fiscal 2017 due to “settlements of claims arising out of allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at the Company’s Fox News Channel business.” In May, the company had revealed it paid out $10 million in the first three months of the year for those matters, and in June revealed the total to be $45 million.

The disclosure shows the toll the corporate culture that had been in place at the cable network before the ouster last year of former chief Roger Ailes continues to have on the parent company, which also owns Fox Broadcasting, the FX cable network, the 20th Century Fox movie studio and a portion of the Hulu video-streaming service. While Fox said in its filing that it does not expect the total amount of costs related to settlements to be material, it did list legal matters related to Fox News as a “risk factor” in its operations, noting that executives have ” received regulatory and investigative inquiries and stockholder demands to inspect the books and records of the Company which could lead to future litigation.” The company also noted that its “primetime lineup has significantly changed which could have a negative impact on our ratings.”

Fox News has been under scrutiny since Ailes departed under a cloud, accused of sexual harassment by former anchor Gretchen Carlson and a number of other current and former employees. Ailes, who passed away earlier this year, denied the allegations. Since that time, however, Fox News has been beset with a growing number of lawsuits and charges of various kinds of improprieties. Bill O’Reilly, its best known primetime anchor, left the network in April, and Bill Shine, its co-president, left a few weeks later. Two hosts, Charles Payne and Eric Bolling, have been suspended pending investigations into recent allegations of sexual harassment, charges which both of the men have denied.

21st Century Fox has installed several new senior female executives at Fox News Channel and reworked the company’s human-resources department.  What’s more, the network continues to investigate allegations in an eyebrow-raising legal complaint alleging Fox News worked with the White House to disseminate fake news about the death of murdered former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, making claims in a now-retracted online article that Rich was linked to a leak of DNC emails to Wikileaks.

The continuing charges erupt at a sensitive time for the parent company. Fox remains keen to snap up the 61% of the British satellite-broadcaster Sky it does not already own. 21st Century Fox reached a deal late last year to buy the remaining Sky stake for $15.2 billion – a pact that would give Fox enormous global heft. As AT&T prepares to acquire Time Warner and as Fox continues to negotiate with giant distributors like Comcast and Charter Communications,  bringing Sky into the company would add new leverage, while its European news operations could lend new programming advantages to Fox News.

The legal settlements would not included money paid out to Ailes and O’Reilly when they departed. Ailes was believed to have received  a payout totaling $40 million, while O’Reilly was believed to have received $25 million.

 

 

More TV

  • Mandy Moore

    Mandy Moore Opens Up About Her Marriage to Ryan Adams: ‘I Was So Sad’

    Mandy Moore opened up about her marriage to Ryan Adams on Monday’s episode of Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast. While the interview was taped before the publication of the Feb. 13 New York Times report in which multiple women, including Moore, accuse Adams of sexual misconduct or emotionally abusive behavior, she speaks freely about the “unhealthy dynamic” in [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • Desus Nice The Kid Mero

    TV Shows to Watch the Week of Feb. 18, 2019: Academy Awards, 'Desus & Mero'

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, the Academy Awards air and Desus & Mero make their debut on Showtime. [...]

  • WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01

    BBC Takes Stake in New Company Set Up by ‘Luther,’ ‘Bodyguard’ Exec

    BBC Studios has taken a minority stake in Firebird Pictures, the new drama indie being set up by BBC execs Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Craig Holleworth. Kilgarriff’s credits include “Luther,” “Poldark,” “McMafia” and upcoming Richard Gere-starrer “MotherFatherSon.” She commissioned breakout drama hit “Bodyguard.” Holleworth will be the new company’s COO, having run business and operations for [...]

  • Punisher Jessica Jones

    Marvel's 'The Punisher,' 'Jessica Jones' Canceled at Netflix

    The last of Netflix’s Marvel shows are officially ending. “The Punisher” has been canceled after its second season, and the upcoming third season of “Jessica Jones” will be its last, Netflix confirmed on Monday. The announcement comes after Netflix gave the ax to its other Marvel series: “Daredevil,” “Iron First,” and “Luke Cage.” “Marvel’s ‘The Punisher’ will [...]

  • SND Boards Comedy Series 'Family Shake'

    SND Boards Comedy Series 'Family Shake' With 'Desperate Parents' Producer

    SND, the commercial arm of the French TV network M6, has acquired worldwide distribution rights to “Family Shake,” a comedy series written by Baya Kasmi and Michel Leclerc. SND is the latest vertically integrated French film group to start handling live-action series, following TF1 Studio, Studiocanal and Gaumont, among others. Produced by Gaëlle Cholet at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content