In a surprising move, Jamie Horowitz has been fired as president of Fox Sports National Networks
, according to several reports. One of those reports suggested Horowitz was dismissed amid an ongoing sexual-harassment investigation at Fox Sports.
Patty Glaser, an “powerhouse” attorney Horowitz hired to represent him, told Business Insider she would “vigorously defend Horowitz against what she described as “slanderous accusations” and called his treatment by Fox “appalling.”
“The way Jamie has been treated by Fox is appalling,” Glaser said. “At no point in his tenure was there any mention by his superiors or human resources of any misconduct or an inability to adhere to professional conduct. Jamie was hired by Fox to do a job, a job that until today he has performed in an exemplary fashion. Any slanderous accusations to the contrary will be vigorously defended.”
According to Meg James of the Los Angeles Times, the network had started “investigating allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace at Fox Sports” less than one week prior to Horowitz’s dismissal.
“The company hired a law firm, which began interviewing women at Fox Sports about Horowitz’s behaviour, according to a person familiar with the investigation who was not authorised to publicly discuss it,” James wrote.
Two unnamed sources told James that several women have already been interviewed in the investigation, including “prominent on-air personalities.”
Sports Business Daily obtained an internal email sent by Fox Sports President Eric Shanks on Monday, informing staff that Horowitz would be leaving Fox Sports “effective immediately.” The email also hinted at Horowitz’s behaviour being behind the move.
“Everyone at FOX Sports, no matter what role we play, or what business, function or show we contribute to — should act with respect and adhere to professional conduct at all times. These values are non-negotiable.”
Before being hired by Fox Sports in 2015 to overhaul the programming on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2, Horowitz was at ESPN. He is credited with being the architect behind ESPN’s “Embrace Debate” culture, a move that led to the rise of “First Take” and created today’s sports television debate culture, especially during daytime programming.
At Fox Sports, Horowitz hired several former ESPNers, including Colin Cowherd, Skip Bayless, and Jason Whitlock.
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