Fox News has fired veteran executive John Finley after determining that he violated the company’s conduct standards.
Finley, who helped develop many of the network’s biggest shows and had once been Sean Hannity’s executive producer, was put on leave from his role as executive vice president of development in recent weeks while an investigation was conducted by an outside law firm. He was fired by the network Friday based on the firm’s findings.
“Fox News Media and John Finley have parted ways after an independent investigation concluded that he had violated certain standards of business conduct,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement.
The company did not say what Finley had done. A person who said they have knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter suggested that the executive used his position to benefit someone over whom he had influence.
In 2011, the network’s human resources department conducted an investigation into Finley after an employee accused him of improper conduct. Despite finding that he had been a part of an email chain that company officials deemed problematic, the network’s internal investigation ultimately cleared him, and the female producer who made the allegations left the network.
Finley spent more than 20 years at the network, where he most recently oversaw show development and played a significant role in the operation of the streaming service Fox Nation. In addition to Hannity’s show, Finley helped develop “The Five,” which is now Fox’s most watched program, as well as the talk show “Outnumbered” and “Life, Liberty & Levin,” hosted by conservative firebrand Mark Levin.
In a 2019 news release announcing his most recent promotion, Fox News chief executive Suzanne Scott praised Finley for having “played a fundamental part in the development of some of our most successful and signature programs” and called him an “an asset to the network.”
Two years later, the network assigned a different executive, Jason Klarman, to oversee Fox Nation, though Finley continued developing programming for the service.