21st Century Fox settles with Gretchen Carlson, Greta Van Susteren to leave Fox News
Carlson had filed a sexual harassment case against both Roger Ailes and the network
The able news channel Fox News generated plenty of news today. First, its parent company 21st Century Fox announced that it has reached a settlement with Gretchen Carlson, the former TV host who was suing the media company alleging sexual harassment.
The settlement reportedly means Carlson will be receiving a $20 million payout, with conflicting reports about whether former Fox News executive Roger Ailes will pay a portion of the settlement.
Then, Fox News announced that Greta Van Susteren would be leaving the channel. Brit Hume will take over Van Susteren show “On the Record” starting immediately.
“We are grateful for Greta’s many contributions over the years and wish her continued success,” Fox co-presidents Jack Abernathy and Bill Shine said in a statement.
Van Susteren, who recently defended Roger Ailes publicly, and who said she had a long-term contract with the cable channel, had been with Fox News for 14 years.
UPDATE: An executive for 21st Century Fox now states it will pay every penny of the Carlson settlement. Ailes will not contribute a dime.
— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) September 6, 2016
The settlement with Carlson comes on the same day that The New York Times reports that Roger Ailes has hired Charles Harder to represent him, and that Harder has sent a letter to New York magazine demanding that the media company retain any materials related to the stories Gabriel Sherman has authored regarding sexual harassment at Fox News.
Harder is the same lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in his Peter Thiel financed lawsuit against Gawker Media. That suit resulted in a massive jury award that put Gawker Media into bankruptcy. Later Univision won most of the Gawker Media brands in a bankruptcy auction (though the main Gawker.com website was shutter at the end of August).
Harder now represents Melania Trump in a lawsuit filed against Daily Mail Online and a blogger named Webster Tarpley following the publication of a story which made claims that the wife of the Republican nominee for president had been an escort.
Here is the press release announcing the settlement between 21st Century Fox and Gretchen Carlson:
New York, NY – September 6, 2016 – 21st Century Fox today issued the following statement announcing it has settled Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit.
“21st Century Fox is pleased to announce that it has settled Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit. During her tenure at Fox News, Gretchen exhibited the highest standards of journalism and professionalism. She developed a loyal audience and was a daily source of information for many Americans. We are proud that she was part of the Fox News team. We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.”
Ms. Carlson issued the following statement:
“I am gratified that 21st Century Fox took decisive action after I filed my Complaint. I’m ready to move on to the next chapter of my life in which I will redouble my efforts to empower women in the workplace. I want to thank all the brave women who came forward to tell their own stories and the many people across the country who embraced and supported me in their #StandWithGretchen. All women deserve a dignified and respectful workplace in which talent, hard work and loyalty are recognized, revered and rewarded.”