Former Fox News and Fox Business host Melissa Francis says she was fired seconds before she was supposed to go on the air. Francis appeared Friday with her attorney on The Megyn Kelly Show to talk about her 2020 departure from Fox. Francis, who joined Fox Business in 2012 and later became a host on Fox News, said she brought up the issue of pay disparity with the then-general counsel at Fox, Dianne Brandi.
“You have to understand that at the time there were two screeners from the Screen Actors Guild – Bombshell and The Loudest Voice – and they had actors playing Dianne Brandi behaving illegally towards women in the Roger Ailes situation,” said Francis.
“At the time I assumed she no longer worked at the company,” Francis continued. “When I said I wanted to do my own negotiation, [Fox] sent me an e-mail back saying ‘you’ll be meeting one-on-one with Dianne Brandi. I was shocked because I thought ‘wow, you’re gonna put her in a room alone with a woman to negotiate. I wasn’t even aware she was still here.’ We ended up having a voice conversation. I had actually scripted out exactly I wanted to say because my math and my points – I felt like I wanted to be crystal clear. I didn’t want to misspeak any portion of it at all.”
“We started to small talk. She’s very nice. ‘How are your kids? What’s going on?’ Then she segued right into ‘Are you going to hand this off to somebody else? It’s not common for talent to do this for themselves,’” Francis recalled in the conversation with Brandi. “I said look, there’s this disparity and basically I laid it out. [Dianne] said ‘whoa, I’m gonna stop you there. This is not the way you want to do this. You do not want to compare yourself to other people.’
“I said ‘no, I’m not comparing myself to other people.’ I’m saying that I’ve collected all this data — basically how I just explained to you – I went through how I did all the comparisons I came up with and finally she broke in and said, and I wrote down verbatim, ‘that’s how the world works. Women make less than men. That’s just a fact.”
Months after her firing, Francis sued Fox for pay discrimination. It was settled in June. Fox paid Francis $15 million.
Earlier this summer, a Fox News spokesperson said “We parted ways with Melissa Francis over a year and a half ago and her allegations were entirely without merit. We have also fully cooperated with the New York State Department of Labor’s investigation and look forward to the completion of this matter.”
Before asking Francis about the details behind her negotiations, Kelly brought up her final dealings with the company before turning down a lucrative offer to join NBC.
“I will say of my own personal experience was that they were always very generous,” Kelly said. “And this is during the Roger era. And my final contract was offered to me by the Murdoch’s, not Roger, but it was always very generous. And I actually know for a fact that I was making more than most of my male colleagues, and that my last contract that was offered to me was definitely bigger even than O’Reilly’s, because as soon as I left, he went and begged them for it, and they gave it to him and he wouldn’t last much longer. But in my experience with them was my being a woman was in no way an impediment to them paying me very, very well.”
“It does seem impossible that a lawyer would say such a reckless thing,” Kelly responded before quoting a statement from a Fox News spokesperson. “Melissa Francis’ version of that conversation is untrue and patently absurd.”
“It is absurd,” Francis said. “I agree with that. It is totally absurd that she would say something like that. I 100% with the fact that it was absurd, and that’s how I felt at the time.”
Later, Francis said she learned of her dismissal from Fox during the pandemic when she was prepared to go on the air from her studio at home.
Joe Salzone is a news media writer for Barrett News Media. He’s a native of Long Island and has been involved in the radio industry since he was 16 years old. Currently, he serves as the News Director for the Cayuga Radio Group and hosts Ithaca’s Morning News on WHCU. His radio career has included stops at SiriusXM, Galaxy Communications, WGBB, WNYG, and the Finger Lakes Radio Group. He can be found on Twitter @JoeSalzone.
Mehdi Hasan: ‘Liberal Media’ Downplayed New Italian Prime Minister’s ‘Ties to Fascism’
“How about in the year 2022 we stop playing down, minimizing, whitewashing people who literally say or do fascist things?”
MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan took aim at the “quote unquote liberal media” for its lack of criticism of new Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her ties to fascism.
The Mehdi Hasan Show host began Sunday’s show by defending a recent tweet discussing Meloni’s victory in Italy’s election, and the problematic nature of some of her comments.
He mentioned he expected Republicans to embrace the new Italian Prime Minister, saying they are “at best, to quote the President, semi-fascist themselves”.
Hasan continued by saying “what has been so depressing, is just how much of the quote unquote liberal media — the mainstream media — are giving her a pass or playing down her and her party’s fascist roots, focusing more on the fact that she is female, and less on the fact that she is a fascist. That has been deeply, deeply depressing to see.”
He concluded by equating headlines from The Washington Post and The New York Times, among others, to those surrounding the 2020 election that said Donald Trump wouldn’t participate in a coup attempt.
“Look, I have a humble suggestion for many of my colleagues in the quote unquote liberal media,” Hasan said while he ended his monologue. “How about in the year 2022 we stop playing down, minimizing, whitewashing people who literally say or do fascist things? People who want to overturn elections and ban Muslims. People who, as in the case of Italy’s next Prime Minister, spout great replacement theory, while running a political party that has a direct connection back to Benito Mussolini himself? Can we try doing that? Please?”
Natalie Morales Joining CBS News
“It’s a privilege to contribute to the CBS News programs and I’m hoping to tell the stories that matter and to talk about issues many of us face,” said Morales.
Former NBC News anchor Natalie Morales is joining CBS News as a correspondent.
Morales left NBC News in October of last year, joining The Talk on CBS with Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots, Jerry O’Connell, and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila. She will continue on the show, in addition to her new duties.
Morales, who will begin with CBS News on November 1st, will contribute to 48 Hours, as well as CBS Sunday Morning, and CBS Mornings.
“It’s a privilege to contribute to the CBS News programs and I’m hoping to tell the stories that matter and to talk about issues many of us face,” said Morales. “48 Hours pioneered true crime television and I’m looking forward to working with the great team of producers and correspondents to bring the best stories to CBS viewers on Saturday nights.”
Morales spent 23 years at NBC, most notably working on Dateline and The Today Show.
“Natalie is one of the best in the business and a welcome addition to CBS News,” said President and co-head of CBS News and Stations Neeraj Khemlani. “She has excelled at the highest levels – from network morning shows to longform storytelling – and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her on our team. She will be doing stories for 48 Hours, CBS Mornings, CBS Sunday Morning and others. She knows how to get to the heart of a tough story with compassion and grace.”
Greg Gutfeld Questions How Media Covers Acts of Violence
Gutfeld expressed outrage at the way some media outlets cover stories of random violence being carried out against innocent people.
Fox News host Greg Gutfeld expressed outrage at the way some media outlets cover stories of random violence being carried out against innocent people.
During “The Five” on Friday, Gutfeld said that he believed the viewing public is becoming numb to stories in which innocent people are hurt.
“These things are happening with such mundane patterns or activity that we’ve gotten used to it,” he said. “Also, the media is not interested in [covering] it. We are doing it, but I don’t think this is on MSNBC or CNN, but I don’t know that because I don’t watch them.”
Gutfeld was referencing the story of a New York City Emergency Medical Service, Lt. Alison Russo-Elling, who was stabbed to death by a random stranger. Russo-Elling was heralded for her service during 9/11. She worked for the city for 25 years.
“It seems like the mainstream media is too interested in racism, activism, and pronouns and then when they do their stories, they just go onto Twitter to see how clever they can be.”
“This woman survived 9/11 but couldn’t survive a trip to the bodega,” he said. “The crazy person aspect is becoming this thing with every story.”
Gutfeld added that elected officials care about stories like this when their job is up.
“They don’t care about people in marginal populations like the drug addicted or homeless,” he added. “The people that are committing a lot of these crimes are complete cowards.”
Ryan Hedrick serves as the Assistant Program Director and Co-Host of the Morning News Express at WFMD. Prior to WFMD, he hosted an afternoon program at News Talk 103.7 FM in Chambersburg, PA. He has worked at Sirius XM in Washington D.C., WBEN in Buffalo, NY, and for stations in Baltimore, MD. He has also worked at WIBW-AM in Topeka KS, earning the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) award for Major Market enterprise reporting in 2016. To connect with Ryan, find him on Twitter @SureToCover.