The one-time head of Fox Nation and veteran Fox News programming and development executive John Finley has been fired after an independent investigation found that he had violated company standards.
Among the standards that were violated included conflict of interest, improper use of his position to benefit someone over whom he had influence and business ethics.
Fox News confirmed Finley’s departure in a statement to TVNewser: “Fox News Media and John Finley have parted ways after an independent investigation concluded that he had violated certain standards of business conduct.”
The decision to fire Finley came after an unnamed woman alleged that he had sexually harassed and stalked her. While the woman was not a Fox News Media staffer, she had worked on Fox Nation-related projects. Finley led the subscription streaming service from February 2019-January 2021.
The woman alleges Finley “stalked her relentlessly and would not stop texting her.” She “kept rebuffing him,” a source told Mediaite, but he pursued “a relentless pattern of sexual harassment and quid pro quo. I can get you this job if you — incredible opportunities. If she went into New York and didn’t see him? Temper tantrums.”
The woman eventually brought her claims of harassment and stalking to Fox’s HR department, and the network subsequently hired an outside law firm to investigate them. According to Mediaite, Fox News ultimately reached an undisclosed settlement with the woman. The media news site says it knows her identity but is declining to disclose it.
Finley has allegedly pursued romantic relationships with staffers who reported to him throughout his two-plus decades at the network. Those relationships included one with a staffer who he married and then divorced.
Finley’s legal representation pushed back against the reporting, saying in a statement, “Mr. Finley wants us to convey that he vigorously denies all of the allegations that were contained in the text that you sent, and this is an attempt to defame Mr. Finley and that he intends to pursue all of his legal remedies at this time.”
In Feb. 2019, Finley was named evp of Fox Nation and development. Fox News marketing chief Jason Klarman replaced Finley as Fox Nation boss in Jan. 2021, although Finley continued to develop content for the service.
Finley previously served as Fox News svp of development, launching several series including The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton, and the Mark Levin-led Life Liberty & Levin. Early in his Fox News career, Finley was Sean Hannity‘s executive producer, and later became involved in the development and planning of the network’s 2016 presidential debates as well as the senatorial and gubernatorial election town halls co-anchored by Special Report’s Bret Baier and The Story’s Martha MacCallum.