Fox News boss Roger Ailes has issued a statement saying claims against him made by former Fox News Channel host Grethen Carlson are untrue. This morning, his former on-air host filed a lawsuit against him claiming he gave her the hook after she refused his sexual advances. His statement:
“Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup. When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit. Ironically, FOX News provided her with more on-air opportunities over her 11 year tenure than any other employer in the industry, for which she thanked me in her recent book. This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.”
Ailes statement came around the same time Fox News parent 21st Century Fox issued a statement saying it has launched an internal review of Carlson’s allegations. Both statements came about six hours after word broke Carlson had filed a lawsuit against Ailes, in which she also made allegations about her former Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy. “The Company has seen the allegations against Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy,” 21st Century Fox said in the statement. “We take these matters seriously. While we have full confidence in Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy, who have served the company brilliantly for over two decades, we have commenced an internal review of the matter.”
In June, Carlson’s Real Story clocked 186K news demo viewers, to CNN’s 190K in the same timeslot with Newsroom. Among overall viewers Carlson’s 1.22M whomped CNN’s 789K.