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Fox News hires a new human resources chief in response to sexual harassment claims

Former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes with his wife, Elizabeth Tilson, in July.
Former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes with his wife, Elizabeth Tilson, in July.
(Getty)

Still grappling with sexual harassment allegations, Fox News announced Wednesday that it has hired a new human resources chief from outside the company.

Kevin Lord, formerly of the TV station group Tegna and NBC News, will be the new executive vice president of human resources and will report directly to Fox News co-Presidents Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine.

Denise Collins, who had been the top human resources executive at Fox News, will now report to Lord.

Lord’s appointment is meant to signal a change in the employment culture at Fox News, which has been under scrutiny since former Chairman Roger Ailes was accused of sexual harassment in a lawsuit by former anchor Gretchen Carlson.

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Ailes has denied all allegations of sexual harassment during his Fox News tenure. The matter first surfaced when Carlson filed a suit against Ailes in July, saying her career was hurt by not submitting to his sexual advances. An internal investigation revealed a pattern of similar behavior, as more than 20 employees, including Fox News Channel’s biggest female star, Megyn Kelly, came forward to describe inappropriate actions by Ailes.

21st Century Fox paid Carlson $20 million to settle the lawsuit. Ailes was paid $40 million when he exited the company.

But since Ailes departed, two more suits have been filed, the most recent from a part-time reporter at a Fox TV station in New York.

Lidia Curanaj, 38, alleges in a suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New York that she was not hired by Fox News because she refused to submit to sexual advances made by Ailes when he interviewed her in 2011. She also contends that her career at Fox-owned TV station WNYW was harmed because of sexual discrimination. Fox has said the claims have no merit.

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Fox News host Andrea Tantaros alleged in a suit filed in August that she was removed from her on-air role in retaliation for making a sexual harassment complaint against Ailes and that Fox News executives covered up his actions. Fox News has said she was suspended for not giving the company an opportunity to review her book before promoting it on the air.

stephen.battaglio@latimes.com

Twitter: @SteveBattaglio

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