Companies

Oct 16, 2017

Fox tries to placate critics after sexual harassment scandals

It's unclear as to whether this strategy will convince anyone anywhere.

Glenn Dyer — <em>Crikey</em> business and media commentator

Glenn Dyer

Crikey business and media commentator

Roger Ailes

It’s a bit late for the The Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox to claim that it has transformed itself internally in response to the sexual and racial harassment claims at Fox News that resulted in chair, the late Roger Ailes and major host Bill O’Reilly being sacked. Yet that is exactly what the company has tried to do, in this letter, as reported by Bloomberg. But you have to remember who the Murdochs are talking to: not shareholders, but UK regulators giving 21st Century Fox's vital A$17 billion clean-up bid for the rest of Sky plc a major going-over.

In response to a shareholder call for a board shake-up (with the departure of long-time member Sir Rod Eddington urged) in the wake of successive scandals at Fox News, the chair of Fox’s nominating and corporate governance committee Viet Dinh said the company had taken steps to improve its human resources processes and governance. He was replying to a letter from Dieter Waizenegger, the executive director of CtW Investment Group, who had argued in a letter last week that 21st Century Fox needs a board shake-up, including the hiring of more women, and new measures on human resources and controls. (Fox is yet to post its letter on its website or at the SEC.) Waizenegger stated:

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