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Despite dealing with sexual harassment allegations and recent exits of big names at the network, Rupert Murdoch insists “nothing is happening at Fox News.”
A BBC reporter approached him recently in Manhattan after the mogul refused a proper interview, asking if Murdoch is worried about how the “Fox scandal” might affect his deal to fully acquire European TV giant Sky, or if “what’s happening at Fox News” will be bad for future deals.
Answering in the negative, Murdoch replied that “nothing’s happening at Fox News.”
“Fox News is getting record ratings, and so I’m not worried at all,” he continued.
“Are you worried about Ofcom?” asks BBC reporter Amol Rajan, referring to the U.K. regulatory body that will rule whether it’s appropriate for 21st Century Fox to acquire the 61 percent stake in Sky it doesn’t already own.
“You should be worried about the BBC,” Murdoch snaps back at Rajan.
When the reporter mentions that Fox News has lost three of its “top people,” Murdoch interrupts and refers to former co-president Bill Shine’s exit: “Not the third person at all. Nothing against him, and the other two are quite separate, so goodbye.”
Shine, who had been with the network since its 1996 launch, exited the company on May 1, almost one year after former Fox News chief Roger Ailes resigned amid sexual harassment allegations and shortly after star Bill O’Reilly left the network.
Wendy Walsh, who accuses O’Reilly of retaliating against her after she declined to go to a hotel suite with him, is set to meet with Ofcom later this week, and a lawyer representing 20 people who have accused Fox News of gender and race discrimination might also meet with Ofcom.
In 2010, Murdoch’s media empire also attempted a takeover of Sky, but it was derailed by the phone-hacking scandal that resulted in the shuttering of popular newspaper News of the World.
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