What Price Secrecy?

Gawker’s J.K. Trotter writes about what FNC allegedly paid Brian Lewis in his severence package…

Roger Ailes’ secrets command a heavy price. Last week, the New York Times reported that Fox News had reached an out-of-court settlement with Brian Lewis, the former Roger Ailes aide who was abruptly fired in late July. A Fox News executive with knowledge of the negotiations told Gawker that Lewis was paid approximately $8 million in hush money.

“The big talk at work, especially today, is the settlement number,” the executive said on Friday, explaining that the exact figure had been filtering through the channel’s rank-and-file since early November.

I don’t know…8 million seems awfully high to me. And then there’s this…

“That whole financial impropriety thing was complete bullshit,” explained the executive, corroborating the accounts of several other Fox sources. “Everything was about Gabe Sherman.” Sherman, the New York magazine writer, is scheduled to publish his long-anticipated (and unauthorized) biography of Roger Ailes in January; Ailes designated Lewis as Sherman’s point of contact at the network.

The executive further explained that, up until the day of Lewis’s dismissal, the channel’s public relations division, which Lewis oversaw, had suffered from heated internal disagreements about how to properly handle Sherman’s book.

The turmoil, which the executive compared to the conservative movement’s internecine struggle between the insurgent Tea Party and establishment Republicans, eventually split the press shop into two equally distinct camps. The first camp maintained that total radio silence was the best policy; the second, led by Lewis, argued that the network should try to engage Sherman.

“People in the first camp would say things like, ‘Mention the words Gabe and Sherman and you’re fired,’ while people in the second camp were more like, ‘Let’s talk with him,’” the executive contended. “The day the first camp won Roger over was the day Brian became an enormous liability.”

11 Responses to “What Price Secrecy?”

  1. People still want something dirty so bad on FOX they can taste it. Too damn bad!
    Is this the same asshats at Gawker that got hundreds of passwords stollen including mine? Find a better place to hang.

  2. Nixon - niila niihpikiiookwa meentwasiaani Says:

    My sources tell me that it was $516.32. Let’s see who guesses where that number’s from.

  3. The Gong Show gave out a “Worst Act Of The Week” Award: the prize was a dirty tube sock and a check for $516.32.

  4. Nixon - niila niihpikiiookwa meentwasiaani Says:

    BINGO!

  5. Conveiently left out this part:

    “The Fox News executive, while acknowledging that $8 million is a hefty severance, said he believes the figure would have been much higher if Lewis actually had seriously damaging information to disseminate about his former boss.”

  6. ^ Uh huh. No one believes such a ridiculous statement.

  7. I’m sure he had more seriously damaging information…but I don’t think he would have been paid more.

  8. With 17 years as a big-wig at Fox News, it would be surprising if he didn’t have damaging information. I wonder how much of that, if any, had to do with what was left on his contract when he was fired.

  9. Large severances, do not compete clauses and conventionality agreements are common in large media organizations. This goes way beyond the normal settlement range for a TV executive of Lewis’s stature.

    It looks like they are pretty desperate to keep Lewis quiet after the Gabriel Sherman’s book is released. They may have succeeded in doing that; but in doing so they have made whatever tales the book tells much more believable.

  10. I’ll wait for the movie. I figure HBO will feature an animatronic pig as Ailes and show it burning in hell as the ending credits roll.

  11. Mr. Omnipotent speaks for EVERYONE and NO ONE.

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