James Murdoch Says Size of O'Reilly Settlement Was 'News to Me'


Part of Bill O'Reilly's defense against the latest New York Times story about a $32 million settlement was to accuse the newspaper of harming his children.

"I can't make sure that everyone in the business doesn't behave badly at times, right?" he said. "We can be decisive about it".

O'Reilly raged against the newspaper for daring to report the truth, saying, "I urge you to think about what you put in your newspaper". In February, Fox News set a long-term contract with O'Reilly that included a huge salary boost, to $25 million a year from around $20 million under his previous deal.

Fox wants a corporate culture that is inclusive, Murdoch said, and wants to show that when wrongdoing is uncovered, as it was with former Fox News chief Ailes and with star host O'Reilly, that top management will act decisively.

The news of Mr. O'Reilly's $32 million settlement has raised questions about whether it will impinge the regulatory review of 21st Century Fox's $15 billion bid for Sky, the European satellite giant.

Murdoch added that he hopes firing harassers like O'Reilly and Ailes "sends a strong signal to employees and [the industry] that there are behaviors that are not tolerable".

O'Reilly has denied the report and characterized it as an "attack" on him and his family. Murdoch said he continues to believe that acquisition will be approved in the first half of 2018.

Bill O'Reilly and Sinclair Broadcast Group are reportedly "about midway" through negotiations to bring him to the company a source close to O'Reilly said on Tuesday, according to NBC News. He did not provide details about the new representation.