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Rupert Murdoch ‘not worried’ about Fox News despite sexual harassment claims

By PA Mediapoint

Rupert Murdoch has said he is “not worried” about Fox News despite allegations of sexual harassment at the broadcaster.

The billionaire head of 21st Century Fox, which owns Fox News, said there was “nothing happening” at the station.

He told the BBC: “Fox News is getting record ratings, and so I’m not worried at all. Nothing’s happening at Fox News. Nothing, okay?”

His comments come after allegations were lodged against former Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes and presenter Bill O’Reilly, both of whom have now left the broadcaster.

Bill Shine, the network’s co-president, left the channel last week.

When asked about losing three senior employees, Murdoch replied: “Not the third person at all. Nothing against him. And the other two people are quite separate, so goodbye.”

The company says its recent actions “demonstrate its clear commitment to providing a positive, safe and inclusive workplace free of harassment and discrimination”.

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Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is attempting to seize control of the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own and UK regulators have until 20 June – after the general election – to review the bid.

On Monday, Lisa Bloom, a lawyer who represents several women who have accused staff at Fox News of sexual harassment, met broadcast watchdog Ofcom in London to warn against the planned £11.7 billion deal.

She said Murdoch’s takeover would bring a “culture of sexual and racial harassment and retaliation to the UK”.

Bloom told reporters there was an “epidemic of sexual harassment and retaliation and allegations of racism rampant inside the Murdoch media empire in the US”, which she described as “phone-hacking part two”.

“The Murdoch media hacks, harasses and hides it with hush money.

“I believe that a company that so openly flouts the laws and our values and your values should not be rewarded with a multi-billion-dollar deal that will enable it to bring its culture of sexual and racial harassment and retaliation to the UK.

“New cases are being filed every day in the United States. More is yet to come. Given everything that we know about the Murdoch empire, let alone revelations to come, we believe it would be irresponsible for this deal to go through.”

A spokesman for 21st Century Fox said: “21st Century Fox’s actions demonstrate its clear commitment to providing a positive, safe and inclusive workplace free of harassment and discrimination.

“The company’s management has taken prompt and decisive action to address reports of sexual harassment and workplace issues at Fox News.

“These actions have led to an overhaul of Fox News Channel’s leadership, management and reporting structure, and have driven fundamental changes to the channel’s on-air talent and prime time programming line-up.

“In assessing and transforming the leadership team at Fox News, the company has been focused on its long held commitment to a diverse workplace that promotes racial and gender equality, elevating Suzanne Scott to the post of president of programming; along with the hiring of a new female chief financial officer Amy Listerman to lead the financial operations at the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.

“This newly instituted leadership structure at Fox News brings it closer in line with the wider practices at 21CF, where women serve as the chair and chief executives of its Fox film studio as well as its Fox television studio and the Fox television network.”

Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

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