As the investigation of lewd text by now suspended Fox News Channel host Eric Bolling continues, the costs keep growing for 21st Century Fox, a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reveals.
“The Company and certain of its current and former employees have been subject to allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination and racial discrimination relating to alleged misconduct at the Company’s Fox News Channel business,” the Fiscal 2017 filing with the feds cooly stated today with a price tag in the $64 million “other” that 21cf puts currently at $50 million in settlements and legal expenses (read it here), which likely is buffered by insurance money too helping out the bottom line. “The Company has settled some of these claims and is contesting other claims in litigation,” the parent company’s June 30 ending report adds of the numerous lawsuits that followed ex-Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson accusing then bossman Roger Ailes of sexual harassment last summer.
That initial suit ended with Carlson getting a $20 million settlement and the now deceased Ailes getting tossed out of the Rupert Murdoch run media giant on July 21, 2016 with an estimated $40 million parachute.
Earlier this year in a quarterly report, 21cf had an other category of $71 million.“Other for the three and nine months ended March 31, 2017 included approximately $10 million and $45 million, respectively, of costs related to settlements of pending and potential litigations following the July 2016 resignation of the Chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel after a public complaint was filed containing allegations of sexual harassment,” the company said at that time – which was of course did not include the costs of Bill O’Reilly being canned after it was made public that about $13 million had been paid out over the years to settle sexual harassment claims against the once ratings overlord. Now broadcasting online, O’Reilly was estimated to be paid over $20 million to walk out the door at FNC on April 19.
“To date, none of the amounts paid in settlements or reserved for pending or future claims, is individually or in the aggregate, material to the Company,” the 21cf filing to the SEC also notes. The Company has also received regulatory and investigative inquiries relating to these matters and stockholder demands to inspect the books and records of the Company which could lead to future litigation,” the otherwise sunny annual report unveils as an ongoing federal investigation of the way previous settlements were handled on or off the books by Ailes also continues.
“Due to the early stage of these matters, the amount of liability, if any, that may result from these or related matters cannot be estimated at this time,” says 21cf .”However, the Company does not currently anticipate that the ultimate resolution of any such pending matters will have a material adverse effect on its consolidated financial condition, future results of operations or liquidity,” it concludes on the matter, which pops up several times in the 159-page report.
Contacted by Deadline, 21cf said they had no other comment on the settlement and expenses costs except what was in today’s filing.