The Fox News bill for settlement payments so far: $45 million

The Fox News bill for settlement payments so far: $45 million
Posted at 4:59 PM, May 10, 2017

The costs of the Roger Ailes era at Fox News keep rising.

Ailes resigned in the summer of 2016, but Fox's parent company 21st Century Fox spent another $10 million on settlements in the first three months of 2017.

A corporate filing on Wednesday said that the costs were "related to settlements of pending and potential litigations."

Current and former Fox News employees accused Ailes of sexual harassment and other improper behavior after ex-anchor Gretchen Carlson sued him last July. Ailes resigned two weeks after the suit was filed.

Carlson received a $20 million settlement payment. An unknown number of other women received smaller amounts.

All told, including the most recent $10 million, the company has incurred costs of about $45 million relating to the sexual harassment scandal, according to Wednesday's filing.

The figures released on Wednesday do not include Fox's exit payment to Ailes. He reportedly received $40 million, which represented the amount owed to him for the remainder of his contract.

The disclosures came on the same day 21st Century Fox shared its first quarter earnings.

The first quarter ended on March 31, the same day The New York Times published a story about allegations of harassment by Fox News prime time star Bill O'Reilly. In mid-April O'Reilly and Fox parted ways.

O'Reilly is receiving about $25 million as a condition of his exit.

It is unclear whether Fox will have to pay additional sums of money to additional accusers. But the company is facing many more lawsuits.

The company is also under federal investigation. Among the matters being examined by prosecutors: whether Fox failed to sufficiently inform shareholders about settlement payments over the years.

While Fox News has a multitude of challenges behind the scenes, the network remains highly-rated, which means it is a profit engine for the parent company.

21st Century Fox executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch said on an earnings conference call on Wednesday afternoon that "Fox News has delivered its highest rated quarter ever" and said he expects that strength "to continue."