In a surprising move, Jamie Horowitz has been fired as president of Fox Sports National Networks, according to several reports. One of those reports suggests Horowitz was dismissed amid an ongoing sexual-harassment investigation at Fox Sports.
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.”
Prior to the Times report,
Eric Hayden of The Hollywood Reporter reported that Horowitz has hired a “powerhouse” lawyer.
“The reasons are unclear for the abrupt departure but he has hired powerhouse litigator Patty Glaser to represent him, suggesting he takes issue with the reason behind his exit,” Hayden wrote.
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.
Fox Sports and Horowitz’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.
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