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Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, may be looking for a woman to run Fox News, sources familiar with the Murdochs’ thinking told The Hollywood Reporter.
This latest news comes on the heels of Fox News’ decision to oust ratings king Bill O’Reilly from the network after it emerged that O’Reilly and Fox News had paid out $13 million in settlements to five women who had accused O’Reilly of unwanted sexual advances. A mass advertiser exodus from O’Reilly’s time slot quickly followed, as did reports of new allegations against him.
O’Reilly’s ouster came less than a year after former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes was forced out after similar allegations surfaced against him. Fox News has lost a number of its star personalities since the allegations against Ailes came out, including Gretchen Carlson, Greta van Susteren, Megyn Kelly, and now Bill O’Reilly.
As the network looks to revamp its image, pressure has mounted on co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy, The Hollywood Reporter said. Shine spearheads the network’s programming sector, while Abernethy is in charge of the business side of the company. Shine has been named defendant in a number of lawsuits against the network, along with O’Reilly and Ailes. He was notably named in a sexual harassment account detailed by former Fox News booker Laurie Luhn, who alleged that Ailes harassed and “psychologially tortured” her for 20 years.
Following the internal turmoil that’s been plaguing the network over the last year, the Murdochs reportedly feel that hiring a female in charge of Fox News would lend credibility to their commitments to promote “a workplace based on the values of respect and trust.”
As of now, there is no official word on who may be in the running to helm the network, but Newsweek put together a list of potential women who could fill the role.