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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Lewis’

Fired Fox Flack Paid $8M to STFU

BrianLewis1Back in August we reported on the problematic firing of Brian Lewis, head of PR for Fox News and longtime confidante of network chief Roger Ailes. While the storied flack initially had only good things to say about his former employer to sister site TVNewser, the picture quickly got ugly. Lewis hired former Donald Trump attorney Judd Burstein, who earned his pay by uttering this classic line:

“Roger Ailes and Newscorp have a lot more to fear from Brian Lewis telling the truth about them than Brian Lewis has to fear from Roger Ailes and his toadies telling lies about Brian Lewis.”

We LOL’ed at the use of the man’s name three times in the same sentence.

General consensus held that Ailes suspected Lewis of leaking information to media sources, and today someone actually did leak some inflammatory news to Gawker: seems that Fox paid its former rep a total of $8 million in “hush money” to avoid a costly lawsuit.

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Fox News Flack’s Firing Just Got Ugly

Based on last week’s reports regarding top Fox News PR man Brian Lewis‘ abrupt departure from the company, you’d be excused for thinking everything is just peachy keen forever. In his first public statement to our sister site TVNewser, he refused to address any “rampant speculation” and assured everyone that:

…it has been an honor and privilege to work for Roger Ailes the past 20 years and I wish nothing but the best for him and the great people at Fox News.

This quote reads a little odd considering the fact that his now-former employer tied his departure to “issues relating to financial irregularities” and “multiple” breaches of contract, an accusation just vague enough to be frightening. Today, however, the gloves are off. Lewis hired former Donald Trump lawyer Judd Burstein, who gave the following statement to Gawker:

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Top Fox News PR Man Discusses His Firing

Yesterday we reported that Brian Lewis, top PR man for Fox News head Roger Ailes and his various ventures, had been fired. Today he spoke to our sister site TVNewser to clear a few things up, but the (brief) conversation focused more on what didn’t happen than what did. He didn’t give any word on specifics regarding the “issues relating to financial irregularities” that supposedly led to his firing, and he was quick to praise everyone he worked with, saying:

There has been rampant speculation surrounding my departure from Fox that I am not addressing at this time. I will say it has been an honor and privilege to work for Roger Ailes the past 20 years and I wish nothing but the best for him and the great people at Fox News.

That’s about it beyond a little not-so-subtle reference to New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, who is currently finishing a book about Fox News and wrote a post yesterday describing Lewis’s departure as a sign of problems within and bigger changes to come. Lewis said:

Some stories are ludicrous, but there is one story that is particularly ludicrous.

So Ailes isn’t “more isolated than ever before” and all reports of internal “tension” are wishful thinking, because things couldn’t be better over at Fox. A true PR professional.

Fox News Chief Roger Ailes Cans Top PR Rep

Today The Hollywood Reporter brought word that Fox News chief Roger Ailes had given “right hand [PR] man” Brian Lewis his walking papers. That’s not all: the THR headline asserts that he was “…escorted from the Fox News building” this morning. Kind of an unnecessary detail, but we get the point.

Lewis worked as “a top executive” to Ailes since the network began 17 years ago. His latest official title was VP, corporate communications, a role that required him to manage PR duties for all the Fox properties. “Insiders” claim that “financial issues” forced Ailes to make the decision while some media observers think this move portends a bigger shakeup (especially when paired with the recent re-shuffling of on-air personalities Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly and Shep Smith).

We don’t know about all that, and we’re absolutely sure that Mr. Ailes would never turn to us for advice, but we think he might want to consider Shep as a replacement for Lewis. The world’s biggest True Blood fan might not be a PR pro, but he’s certainly not afraid to let everyone know how he feels about that “V.”