Fox News will award Gretchen Carlson $20 million for her sexual harassment suit against former network chief Roger Ailes, according to Vanity Fair. The settlement also comes with a rare public apology from the network, which many believe serves as a fresh start, since Rupert Murdoch wants to get past the suit as quickly as possible.
In years past, channel executives have stood by its employees through turbulent times. Stories about the Fox News working environment have often been wild, but Vanity Fair reports CEO James Murdoch and Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch are looking to change its culture:
The company has agreed, on behalf of Ailes, to settle Carlson’s suit for a stunning $20 million, according to three people familiar with the settlement. To reinforce their seriousness about creating a new culture in a post-Ailes world, the company offered Carlson a public apology as part of the settlement. “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,” the statement noted.
The article goes on to report the network reached a settlement with two other women, but did not reveal who they were. It’s a delicate situation to navigate for network executives, as Fox News wants to clean up its infamous atmosphere, but also wants to preserve as much as possible since it contributes $1 billion in annual profit to 20th Century Fox.
As for Ailes, he seems to be preparing for battle. While he stayed mostly quiet during the Carlson situation, the former Fox News head is back in the limelight after an unflattering New York Magazine expose about his ousting was published. Ailes doesn’t seem too pleased about the article either, as he has hired Hulk Hogan attorney Charles Harder to sue the magazine. It will be interesting to see if Harder can take down two media giants in a calendar year.
(Via Vanity Fair)