1 Day After Huge Sex Harassment Settlement, Another Big-Name Female Anchor Leaves Fox News (VIDEO)
She’s been at Fox News for 14 years, but now Greta Van Susteren is leaving —apparently due, in part, to a “financial dispute.” Van Susteren is the first host to leave following the sexual harassment scandal involving former Fox CEO Roger Ailes.
Will Fox News get rid of sean hannity and bill o’reilly next? One can only hope
Fox News announced Van Susteren’s departure in a statement on Tuesday.
“FOX News Channel’s (FNC) senior political analyst Brit Hume will take over as anchor of On The Record (7PM/ET) starting Tuesday, September 6th and running through the election, announced the network’s co-presidents Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine. Current host Greta Van Susteren will depart the network after 14 years,” the statement said.
“In making the announcement, Abernethy and Shine said in a joint statement, ‘As one of the best political analysts in the industry, Brit is the ideal choice to host a nightly political program while the most dynamic and captivating election in recent history unfolds. Having Brit at the helm of this show will enable FOX News to continue on track to have its highest-rated year ever as the network dominates the cable news landscape.
“Commenting on Van Susteren’s departure, Abernethy and Shine jointly said, ‘We are grateful for Greta’s many contributions over the years and wish her continued success.’”
Bipartisan Report posits that even though Van Susteren has been a consistent presence on Fox for years, “the idea that she simply left her position over a financial dispute doesn’t add up.” It noted her support for Roger Ailes after the allegations of sexual harassment broke, “so it seems likely that Fox’s leadership decided to get aggressive over her salary, in the interest of removing anyone still loyal to Ailes.” And Van Susteren was one of three Fox hosts whose contracts have clauses that would allow them to leave the network when Ailes departed. Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly are the other two.
I don’t know if that’s what really went on, but the situation gets weirder from here.
Van Susteren was already planning to leave, but she thought she’d be hosting On The Record for a few weeks longer, CNN Money reports.
However, a courier arrived at her Washington, D.C. home at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The courier handed two letters to her husband, John Coale, a high-profile Washington lawyer. Those letters announced that Van Susteren “was being taken off the air” immediately, Coales said.
Pulling her off the air without even giving her a chance to say goodbye was “a bit immature,” Coale said.
But it was also, CNN reports, a message from Rupert Murdoch.
Murdoch, patriarch of Fox’s parent company 21st Century Fox, became angry at Van Susteren’s recent attempts to renegotiate her contract, and that’s what resulted in the courier visit, CNN reports.
The unorthodox breakup is just a reminder of the tension, or “chaos” as Coale characterizes it, behind the scenes at Fox. He noted “possible litigation in the future,” between Van Susteren and Fox. The network, on the other hand, declined to comment on Coale’s remarks.
The network abruptly announced Van Susteren was leaving less than an hour after the courier arrived. Weirdly, the network deleted the On The Record web site, Van Susteren’s biography, and her Gretawire blog. In essence, she was erased from FoxNews.com.
So she took to her Facebook page
The clause she’s referring to is called a “key man clause.” It was triggered by Ailes’ departure. When he left, that gave Van Susteren a chance to leave also.
Van Susteren’s departure comes on the same day that 21st Century Fox agreed to pay $20 million settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson against Ailes.
In a statement to USA Today, the network said Van Susteren’s departure “had nothing to do with the settlement today.”
Van Susteren had 60 days in which to invoke the escape clause after Ailes’ resignation. Time was getting short, so she sent a letter to Fox last Thursday night, informing the network that she was leaving.
She hoped to arrange a graceful exit, Coale said. He added that Van Susteren expected to continue hosting for weeks “to help them sort things out and have a smooth transition.”
But not only did the network let her go rather suddenly, it also pulled this weird trick
Who knows why the network did this? But then it is Fox News, after all. Land of the unfair and unbalanced.
Before joining Fox, Van Susteren worked for more than a decade as a legal analyst at CNN, where she co-hosted Burden of Proof. She later hosted her own show, The Point. But it was the O.J. Simpson trial that brought her the most notoriety.
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Sources told CNN that Van Susteren did not like the way Ailes ran Fox over the past few years, and she also was unhappy with the way the network was perceived.
Although she defended Fox in public, privately, she had her own concerns.
“It didn’t appear it was getting better” after Ailes left, one source said.
Hume has been with Fox News since 1996. Prior to that, he was at ABC News for 23 years, and was the network’s chief White House correspondent for the last several years.
“I am happy to take on this assignment for the balance of this extraordinary election,” he noted in a statement.
Sorry to see Greta go. I count her a friend and wish her and John the best. I hope I won't drive her audience off. https://t.co/S3H3JyeA0w
— Brit Hume (@brithume) September 6, 2016
My, my Fox News has definitely been on a downward spiral. The network does whatever it can to undermine Hillary Clinton and bolster its love-child Donald Trump. What’s the network going to do if Trump loses? I suppose it will just continue its winning streak of stupid mistakes.
You can also watch what The New York Daily News has to say about the situation in the video below.
Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images
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