Fox News complainant meets UK regulator over Sky-Fox deal

10 May, 2017, 04:02 | Author: Kristopher Anderson
  • Small Screen: Sexual harassment weighs on Fox News business deal

Ofcom, the British regulator, is reviewing the proposed deal to determine whether, among other things, the management is "fit and proper" to hold a broadcasting license. Fox now holds a 39.1 per cent interest in Sky, but Murdoch and his sons are determined to consolidate Fox's ownership.

Wigdor's testimony will follow an appearance by Wendy Walsh, the radio psychologist who went public with her harassment complaint against Fox News.

The comment came during an ambush interview with the BBC's Amol Rajan, who asked Murdoch if he was anxious about the ongoing federal investigation of 21st Century Fox and the class action racial discrimination suit against Fox News.

Despite dealing with sexual harassment allegations and recent exits of big names at the network, Rupert Murdoch insists "nothing is happening at Fox News". However, Murdoch has a point about the network's ratings as FNC finished April as the most-watched channel in all of cable.

When approached in NY by the BBC, Mr Murdoch said he was not concerned about events at Fox. TNT's NBA-playoff heavy schedule finished second, averaging 1.8 million viewers between 8-11 p.m. MSNBC, HGTV and ESPN round out the top five.

Claudine McLeod and Elizabeth Fernandez are the latest to accuse Fox News Channel of racial discrimination "more akin to Plantation-style management than a modern-day work environment", the suit said.

"It's phone hacking part two", she added, a reference to the hacking scandal at Murdoch's British newspapers that derailed his earlier attempt to purchase Sky in 2012. The scandal revealed close ties between politicians, police and the employees of the paper.

Bloom says the takeover will bring a "culture of sexual and racial harassment and retaliation to the UK".

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Instead, Mr Murdoch simply told me that he was "not anxious at all" about what's happening. She says the bid for Sky should be blocked because media companies have a special role in society.

Three of Fox News' most senior male staff have recently left the company following accusations of sexual harassment and mismanagement. It was against that backdrop that Bill Shine, who had been with the company since its founding in 1996, resigned as co-president.

'Fox News is getting record ratings, and so I'm not anxious at all.

The trouble for the company is that, on Thursday, Wigdor is going to spend rather a long time in the inner sanctum of Ofcom providing the kind of detail that can not be good news for the Murdochs' latest bid.

Plaintiff attorney Douglas Wigdor said he wasn't surprised "18th century Fox" refused to even "acknowledge the systemic race and gender discrimination allegations". He is not accused of harassment.

Part of Ofcom's investigation will include whether Sky's potential new owners are "fit and proper". His firm also represents 13 current and former black employees of Fox News who claim they have faced racial discrimination throughout their tenure at the company.

A United Kingdom scandal torpedoed Rupert Murdoch's first attempt to take control of British-based broadcaster Sky.

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