Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

Viet Dinh, chief legal officer for Fox Corp. and a close ally of Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, is leaving his position at the company.

Fox Corp. said Friday in a statement that Dinh, who will exit at the end of the year, will transition into the role of “special advisor.”

Dinh is the highest ranking officer at Fox Corp. to exit since the media company paid $787.5 million to Dominion Voting Systems to settle that company’s $1.6 billion defamation case against Fox News.

The lawsuit alleged that Fox News damaged the electronic voting equipment company’s reputation when the network repeatedly spread
former President Trump’s falsehoods about voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Evidence in the case revealed a number of embarrassing texts and emails from employees, many of whom believed the claims were erroneous and that Trump had lost despite the theories that were presented on the air.

Dinh guided Fox Corp.’s legal strategy in the case. He was said to have expressed confidence in the company’s ability to win on the grounds that statements made on the conservative news network would be protected by the 1st Amendment.

But Murdoch chose to settle the case before testimony in the April trial could be heard.

“We appreciate Viet’s many contributions and service to Fox as both a board member of 21st Century Fox and in his role over the last five years as a valued member of Fox’s leadership team,” said Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox Corp. “We are grateful that he will continue to serve Fox as special advisor where we will benefit from his counsel.”

Dinh, who was previously an assistant attorney general in former President George W. Bush’s administration, has been a key player at Fox Corp. since 2018. He is a longtime friend of Lachlan Murdoch, serving as godfather for the executive’s son.

While a number of lower-level decision makers involved in the Dominion coverage have left Fox News, which has been subject to cost-cutting in recent months, top brass at both the network and its parent company remained in place before the Friday announcement.

Fox News Media Chief Executive Suzanne Scott and her top deputy Jay Wallace are still in charge at the network, which has seen its ratings bounce back since revamping its prime time schedule following the departure of its most popular and provocative host, Tucker Carlson.

Carlson, one of Trump’s most ardent supporters, was permanently pulled off the air on April 24 as he became a legal liability for the network.

Fox News paid $12 million to a former producer who claimed she was subjected to a hostile work environment while working on Carlson’s show.

Ray Epps, a participant in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, is suing Fox over Carlson’s repeated statements that Epps was a government agent who helped agitate the protesters.

Fox News faces another defamation lawsuit related to the election fraud reporting from the voting machine company Smartmatic. Barring a settlement, the $2.7 billion lawsuit will go to trial in 2025.

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