On Tuesday, it was announced that former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson would receive a $20 million settlement for her sexual assault case against former Fox News president Roger Ailes.
Shortly afterward, Fox News confirmed that ratings boon Greta Van Susteren would be leaving the channel that same day.
It was pretty quick and unexpected.
The “On the Record” anchor’s abrupt departure incited speculation over her relationship with the already-ailing network.
Here’s what might have sparked her departure:
1. Good Timing
Van Susteren’s official statement on the matter indicate that she was unhappy with the network for years:
According to New York Magazine, she notified management on September 1st, and CNN’s Brian Stelter says she has a waiting period in her contract preventing her from jumping to another network right away.
2. Fox News’ Settlement
Van Susteren was one of several Fox News faces who spoke on the record to defend Roger Ailes against harassment claims this past summer. She told People that Carlson’s accusations didn’t “have any ring of truth”:
“Of course, the first thing that occurred to me is that, unfortunately, we have a disgruntled employee, a colleague. I read that her show wasn’t being renewed and, being a lawyer, I thought she got angry. I deal with Roger Ailes often. I’ve often been alone with Roger Ailes in his office over the course of 15 years and I’ve never seen anything like what I’m reading about in the papers and the magazine.”
However, in a blog post for her show soon after, she declined the suggestion that she was defending Ailes:
I did not defend Roger Ailes nor did I condemn him. I just stated what I knew or did not know. Period.
3. “Culture” at Fox News
The that same People interview, Van Susteren said that if what Carlson said was true, she wouldn’t put up with it.
“If Roger Ailes were how he’s described, there’s no way I would’ve stuck around. I don’t feel like putting up with that stuff and I wouldn’t,” she says. “Even if he weren’t doing it to me, I wouldn’t want to work in that environment.”
On Tuesday, 21st Century Fox essentially confirmed Ailes’ behavior by paying out Carlson’s settlement and putting out an apology to Carlson. Several reports have suggested that Ailes’ behavior with women was enabled by the management he was surrounded with, which has essentially stayed in place and/or been promoted since his resignation.
Further, New York Magazine suggested that Van Susteren may have left because she was unhappy with the culture of the network:
[A] source close to Van Susteren disputed this, telling me Van Susteren left because “she is troubled by the culture” Ailes built.
4. Trump TV?
Van Susteren’s departure comes the same day as the Washington Examiner’s reported confirmation of Donald Trump’s “plan B” for the election — to create his own television empire.
Last week, New York Magazine editor Gabriel Sherman revealed in his exposé on Roger Ailes that Fox News has “real anxiety” over losing its talent and ratings to a possible Trump network.
However, if Van Susteren was, in fact, troubled with Fox News’ culture, it’s difficult to believe that she’d join a network run by Trump, who reportedly enlisted Ailes’ help for debates after he left Fox News.
On the day of her departure, Politico reported:
A source close to the situation said it was a financial disagreement that led to Van Susteren’s departure.
A clause in Van Susteren’s contract reportedly allowed her to break away from her employment if Ailes left the network.
Finally, Van Susteren earlier this summer said that she had a “long-term deal” with the network, in an effort to tamper down suggestions that she was defending claims against Ailes in an effort to re-up her contract.
The post 5 Best Explanations Why Greta Left Fox News appeared first on Independent Journal Review.
Source: Independent Journal Review