Days after an explosive report revealing new sexual-harassment allegations against host Bill O’Reilly, a top Fox News’ human-resources official on Monday sent a memo to news staff urging employees to report misconduct to HR officials or the law firm in charge of investigating potential harassment within the network.
In a memo obtained by Business Insider, executive vice president of human resources Kevin Lord said he “wanted to re-emphasise” a message to encourage employees to report concerns about behaviour in the workplace.
“In light of some of the accounts published over the last few days, I wanted to re-emphasise the message we have been conveying at our training sessions for several months,” Lord said, before listing contacts that included Fox News General Counsel Dianne Brandi, 21st Century Fox officials, and an outside law firm retained by the network.
He concluded: “We want to give you every opportunity to be heard through a vehicle of your voice so that we can attempt to address your concerns promptly and confidentially.”
The memo came after the New York Times reported three previously unknown instances in which Fox and O’Reilly himself reached settlement agreements with women who filed harassment lawsuits alleging instances of verbal abuse, lewd comments, and unwanted advances.
The network retained Paul Weiss’ law firm for an internal investigation after Roger Ailes resigned following sexual-harassment allegations leveled by several former Fox News employees last year.
O’Reilly has denied wrongdoing, claiming that he was the target of lawsuits because of his high-visibility.
Fox News has stood by O’Reilly. The network renewed his contract earlier this year despite some speculation that the host wanted to retire in the coming years.
O’Reilly remains the top-rated host on cable news. In the first quarter of 2017, “The O’Reilly Factor” garnered its highest ratings ever, shattering the previous record for highest viewership for a television program in a quarter.
Media analysts like the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple criticised the network for shielding O’Reilly despite the allegations.
Read the memo:
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