James Murdoch Says O’Reilly’s $32 Million Settlement Was ‘News to Me’

James Murdoch reacted this morning to the big news about Bill O’Reilly’s contract being renewed a month after he reached a $32 million settlement.

According to Variety, the 21st Century Fox CEO said the amount O’Reilly settled for earlier this year “was news to me”:

“It’s easy to look from the outside and say, ‘Didn’t you know that?’” he said. “I think the issue becomes, how do you react to those things” once they are brought to light.

Murdoch said that the media conglomerate fired O’Reilly after investigating the complaints, as well as Fox News founder Roger Ailes following other sexual-harassment allegations. “You investigate things thoroughly, you make what you think is the best decision,” he said, when asked about O’Reilly by CNBC’s Julia Boorstin, who interviewed the exec at the Paley Center event.

After the O’Reilly news broke in The New York Times, 21st Century Fox said in a statement they knew O’Reilly had “settled the matter personally, on financial terms that he and [Lis] Wiehl had agreed were confidential and not disclosed to the company.”

Murdoch said 21st Century Fox is trying to send a “strong signal to employees and [the industry] that there are behaviors that are not tolerable.”

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac