REUTERS

Fox News Co-President Bill Shine Out, Lawsuits Tarnish Network

Bill Shine has resigned from his position as co-president of Fox News, the network announced on Monday. The same day, a Fox News contributor filed a lawsuit alleging gender discrimination.


Several of the network’s current sexual misconduct and racial discrimination scandals name Shine for allegedly covering up the wrongdoing of alleged harassers, including former chairman Roger E. Ailes.

Ailes resigned in July amid sexual harassment allegations, and he currently faces new lawsuits. Shine and Jack Abernethy were appointed co-presidents in August to lead Fox News after his departure.

Shine’s exit also follows star host Bill O’Reilly’s departure late last month after a report revealed that Fox and O’Reilly had paid out $13 million to settle harassment claims by five women.

Rupert Murdoch, co-executive chairman of Twenty-First Century Fox, parent company of Fox News, announced Shine’s resignation in a statement on Monday:

“Bill has played a huge role in building Fox News to its present position as the nation’s biggest and most important cable channel in the history of the industry.”

“His contribution to our channel and our country will resonate for many years.”

Shine will leave the company after helping a transition over the next few weeks, the network said.

Last month, Julie Roginsky, a Democratic political consultant and Fox News contributor, filed a lawsuit in New York state court against Shine, the network and Ailes. Roginsky accuses them of denying her a permanent hosting job after she refused Ailes’ sexual advances.

She also claimed in filings that at her meetings with Ailes, he “usually sat in a low armchair.”

“He repeatedly insisted on a kiss ‘hello’ requiring Roginsky to bend down to kiss him. Ailes would consistently position himself in such a way as to look down Roginsky’s dress,” the lawsuit states.

She also sued Shine, asserting that he failed to investigate her claims.

Changes in the station’s executive leadership continue to offer more of the same. Suzanne Scott, executive vice president of programming, who was promoted to head of Fox News’ programming, is mentioned in Roginsky’s lawsuit for enabling and concealing Ailes’ behavior.

Abernethy remains co-president of Fox News and chief executive of Fox Television stations, and Jay Wallace has been similarly promoted to head of news. Both started with the company in 1996 along with Shine and Ailes. And, Abernathy has been accused in lawsuits against the news channel for intimidating staff.

According toReuters, the scandals at Fox News couldpotentially affectthe Murdoch family’s desired purchase of Sky, a broadcasting companyin Great Britain.British regulators are looking to see if the Murdochs are “fit and proper to own the entirety of Sky.” The last time the family attempted to purchase the network, after the Britishhacking scandal,there were concerns that the Murdochs had too much influence in Great Britain.

But the Murdoch’s current surface cleaning at Fox News continues to be hampered by employees coming forward with claims. Diana Falzone, 34, said in the lawsuit filed in New York state court on Monday that despite writing many popular articles for Fox News’ website and routinely being praised for on-air appearances, in January, three days after an article about her struggle with endometriosis was published, she was sidelined.

“Once Diana disclosed her condition, Fox executives decided she no longer conformed to their image of on-air women as ‘physically perfect,'” Nancy Smith, Falzone’s attorney, said in a statement.

Last week, 11 current and former nonwhite Fox News employees, including Emmy-winning anchor Kelly Wright, who is Black, filed a class-action lawsuit. They claim they were mocked and humiliated because of their race and paid less than white coworkers.Wright, a former co-host of “Fox & Friends Weekend,” has been with the companysince 2003.

“Despite his outstanding performance, and because he is Black, Mr. Wright has been effectively sidelined and asked to perform the role of a ‘Jim Crow’ the racist caricature of a Black entertainer,” according to the lawsuit.

Fox has denied the claims.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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