Irena Briganti To Take Over For Brian Lewis?
Politico’s Mike Allen is reporting that Irena Briganti may be the one who takes over for Brian Lewis at FNC. Allen also has a lot more back story on Lewis’ firing…
IRENA BRIGANTI, the number two official in Fox News media relations, is likely to succeed her former boss, Brian Lewis, according a Fox News executive familiar with the situation. The executive did not divulge the reason Lewis was fired, citing possible legal talks. But the executive provided an unusually vivid window into the thinking of Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, who fired Lewis on July 25. Lewis, who was escorted from the building, had fallen from favor months before. Lewis had long had two offices: one near Ailes’s suite on the second floor of the former News Corp. tower in midtown Manhattan, and another on the 22nd floor. John Moody, a Fox News executive who took another assignment within the corporation and then returned, got Lewis’s prime real estate and Lewis was banished to the 22nd floor in July 2012, according to the executive.
On June 13, Lewis was out of the loop on the announcement that Sarah Palin was being re-signed as a Fox News contributor. The executive said Lewis also was excluded from conversations about Megyn Kelly’s promotion to primetime, announced July 2. And according to the executive, Lewis also was not told that Elisabeth Hasselbeck of “The View” was becoming a co-host of “Fox & Friends”; Briganti handled the July 9 rollout. “Roger wasn’t confident that [Brian] could keep those secrets,” the executive said. The executive said that one factor in the growing distrust of Lewis – but not THE trigger – was his suspected cooperation with Gabriel Sherman on his forthcoming book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room: The Inside Story of How Roger Ailes and Fox News Remade American Politics.”
The executive said: “Roger lost faith in him and started poking around, digging around, and came up with a slew of stuff. … After an internal investigation, it became abundantly clear that Brian was operating outside the culture of the company, and thus violated his contract, so Roger let him go. … [Brian] was suspected of talking to Gabe in his own self-interest. … There’s nobody here who thinks Gabe is writing a positive book. … But that’s not a violation of his contract. [He was] not doing his job … operating outside the culture of the company … doing things with the finances of his department which were very bad. … Many of the talent, other vice presidents and producers here did not want to work with him anymore.
“He was not working within the framework that Roger had set up, where the common goal was to work together and win. … He was no longer a team player. … Brian always had an inflated ego about himself and what he did here – going around telling people he was Roger’s right-hand man, and that he was in strategy and programming meetings. … He was supposed to be running media relations, but Irena and the staff were.”