It's bad when you're on your way to harassment being mentioned in your Annual Report, which the Fox News Parent company will probably end up doing. Why would they have to do that? Because of three things:
--The size of the settlement - 20M
--The fact that tens, if not hundreds of similar cases are gong to flow against Fox News in the next 12 months, which will look like a write down to a large class action lawsuit.
Why do we know this is true? Fox News settled with former Fox and Friends anchor/host Gretchen Carlson in response to a lawsuit filed just a month ago. The setup from the LA Times:
"Fox News parent 21st Century Fox moved decisively Tuesday to end the sexual harassment scandal that has roiled the media company, issuing an extraordinary apology to former anchor Gretchen Carlson and agreeing to pay $20 million to settle her lawsuit against her former boss, Roger Ailes.
“We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve,” the company’s statement said.
The unusually candid expression of regret over Ailes’ alleged actions demonstrates how much Fox wants the controversy to go away. Coming in the midst of a presidential election, the scandal had raised questions about the future leadership of a network that has long dominated cable TV news ratings."
Translation - the guy was a freak show and if we don't go to 20M, the probability of 60M is too high to deal with. Do the deal.
But the dirty little detail behind this settlement is that it's far from over. There are multiple other suits pending and let's face it, when you apologize for leader conduct and a lack of respect and dignity, you're not really going to have an appetite to fight any of those claims.
And there will be more claims. Most, if not all of them, will be legit. Fox News will pay.
It's a form of closure for something that was institutionalized. They'll pay without fighting, because things where so ####ed up. There will be a time, probably around the one year mark, when that will change and Fox will start fighting claims.
For now, they'll do a little due process on each claim and then write a check in accordance with the indignity and the size of the person's career.
It's what you do when you look up and find that your leader was a freak. That has a funny way of rolling downhill to the rest of the company.