×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

After Shareholder Complaints, 21st Century Fox Sets Workplace Council at Fox News

After a chaotic period of revelations of and complaints about sexual harassment and discrimination at its Fox News operations, 21st Century Fox said it had created a workplace council at the unit to advise senior management on matters ranging from workplace environment and recruitment to advancement of women and minorities.

The move comes after more than a year of responding to multiple shareholders who contacted Fox to express concerns about Fox News and the various legal entanglements that had arisen since the ouster of former Fox News chief Roger Ailes in the summer of 2016.

21st Century Fox said the matter had been resolved through creation of the new workplace group, and said it would receive a payment of $90 million, less fees and expenses awarded by the court to attorneys, from third-party insurers, as a result. Ailes, who died earlier this year, had denied multiple claims of sexual harassment levied at him by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson and several other female employees of and female contributors to Fox News.

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter with 21CF in a constructive way that will drive meaningful benefits for shareholders of 21CF and Fox News employees,” said Max Berger, founding partner at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, a law firm representing the City of Monroe Employees’ Retirement System, a 21st Century Fox shareholder. “The establishment of a majority independent council with the participation of senior HR executives from the company is a positive result that reflects a shared commitment from both sides to strengthen the workplace at Fox News.” Multiple 21st Century Fox shareholders had joined in the complaint.

The council, composed of experts from outside the company as well as human-resources personnel from 21st Century Fox, will report to a committee of the company’s board of directors and provide written reports that will be posted on the corporation’s website.

“The Workplace Council gives our management team access to a brain trust of experts with deep and diverse experiences in workplace issues,” said Jack Abernethy, co-president of Fox News Channel, in a statement. “We look forward to benefiting from their collective guidance.”

The four independent members of the new council are Barbara Jones, a former judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York,who advises on compliance issues and internal investigations as well as arbitration and mediation; Brande Stellings, who consults with organizations to hasten the advancement of women into leadership roles; Virgil Smith, a former vice president of talent acquisition and diversity at Gannett who works as a consultant; and Sylvia Ann Hewett, founder of the Center for Talent Innovation. Thomas Gaissmaier and Kevin Lord, wo new human resources executives at 21st Century Fox and Fox News, respectively, will also serve on the council.

Fox News has in recent months been in the midst of an executive and programming shakeup. New female executives have been named to supervise the CFO role and advertising sales. In recent weeks, Fox News  unveiled a new programming lineup that features more women than it has in the past. Laura Ingraham took over the network’s 10 p.m. slot and Shannon Bream launched a new show at 11 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More TV

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

  • Ken Jeong TV Take Podcast

    Listen: Ken Jeong on His Return to Stand-Up and New Netflix Special

    Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, talks with Ken Jeong about his Netflix comedy special, “Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho,” and being a judge on Fox’s “The Masked Singer.“ Jeong started working on his new standup act after ABC canceled his show “Dr. [...]

  • "Brother" -- Episode 201-- Pictured (l-r):

    CBS Interactive's Marc DeBevoise on Streaming Boom, Content Strategy, and Apple

    Not everyone wants or needs to be Netflix to succeed in the streaming space. And not everyone sees Apple’s enigmatic new service as a threat. Even as rival streaming services offer gobs of content, CBS Interactive’s president and COO Marc DeBevoise sees the company’s targeted original programming strategy continuing to attract viewers to its All [...]

  • Ken Jeong to Star in CBS

    Ken Jeong to Star in CBS Comedy Pilot From 'Crazy Rich Asians' Author Kevin Kwan

    A “Crazy Rich Asians” reunion is happening at CBS. Ken Jeong has been cast in a lead role in the multi-camera comedy pilot “The Emperor of Malibu,” which is being co-written and executive produced by “Crazy Rich Asians” author Kevin Kwan. In the series, Auggie, the son of a Chinese tech billionaire, announces his engagement [...]

  • Jussie SmollettFOX 'Empire' TV show panel,

    Jussie Smollett Case: Chicago Police Arrest Two Suspects

    Chicago police confirmed on Friday that they have arrested two suspects in the case of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. The police did not state what charges the men are being held on. Local media have identified the men as two brothers from Nigeria, though law enforcement has not confirmed their identities. Smollett’s representatives have declined [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content