Exactly one week after Fox Sports laid off about 20 writers and editors to focus on a video-based internet model, the architect of that vision is out.
Jamie Horowitz, the president of Fox Sports National Networks who was cherry-picked to lead the network after a stint at NBC and his “Embrace Debate” days at ESPN, is “leaving FOX Sports effective immediately,” according to an internal email from Fox Sports President Eric Shanks.
Horowitz’s ouster comes less than a week after 21st Century Fox began investigating allegations of sexual harassment at Fox Sports, according to the LA Times. According to the report, several women — including on-air personalities — already had been interviewed.
In his email, which was obtained by Sports Business Journal, Shanks wrote: “Everyone at FOX Sports, no matter what role we play, or what business, function or show we contribute to — should act with respect and adhere to professional conduct at all times. These values are non-negotiable.”
Horowitz, who had been with the network since early 2015, is not going quietly. He hired powerful litigator Patricia Glaser — who handled Conan O’Brien’s NBC exit and Keith Olbermann’s fight with Current TV — to represent him, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“The way Jamie has been treated by Fox is appalling,” Glaser said in a statement to the magazine. “At no point in his tenure was there any mention by his superiors or human resources of any misconduct or an inability to adhere to professional conduct. Jamie was hired by Fox to do a job, a job that until today he has performed an [sic] exemplary fashion. Any slanderous accusations to the contrary will be vigorously defended.”
Shanks said he would absorb Horowitz’s responsibilities until Fox Sports finds a replacement.
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