LOS ANGELES – Lachlan Murdoch, chairman of 21st Century Fox Inc., has no plans to rehire Megyn Kelly following her departure from NBC’s “Today” show over racially insensitive remarks.
“I’m a big fan of Megyn’s, we didn’t want her to leave Fox,” Murdoch said Thursday at the New York Times’ DealBook conference in New York. “Having said that, I’m very happy with our current lineup.”
Kelly, who made a name for herself at Fox News, is negotiating her exit from NBC after defending wearing blackface at Halloween.
Murdoch is set to lead a spinoff that will operate Fox News Channel, the Fox broadcast network and a string of local television stations after the $71 billion sale of his company’s entertainment assets to Walt Disney Co. next year. In response to a question, he defended Fox News’ often stridently conservative coverage.
“I’m not embarrassed by what they do at all,” Murdoch said. “Fox News is the only mass media company in America with conservative opinions. It’s the only one. Frankly, I feel in this country we all have to be more tolerant of each other’s views. We’ve come to this point where we are more and more intolerant of each other and frankly that has to change.”
The executive said his family’s decision to sell its entertainment assets, including the 20th Century Fox film studio and cable channels such as FX and National Geographic, was based in part on the recognition that “the amount of entertainment that’s watched live is declining at an incredible rate.”
Murdoch said the new Fox will have earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $2.5 billion in its first year.