In Surprise Move, Jamie Horowitz Is Out At Fox Sports
Jamie Horowitz’s career at Fox Sports has ended after a little more than two years. Fox Sports President Eric Shanks announced Horowitz’s departure via an internal email sent out around 10am PT this morning. “We realize this news may come as a surprise for many of you, but we are confident in this decision,” the email read. “Everyone at FOX Sports, no matter what role we play, or what business, function or show we contribute to -- should act with respect and adhere to professional conduct at all times. These values are non-negotiable.” It is not known what caused Horowitz’s abrupt departure, though sources said it was not related to changes made at Fox Sports Digital, which was covered extensively by Awful Announcing last week. Fox already has taken Horowitz’s bio down from its website.
UPDATE: The LA Times is reporting that Horowitz’s dismissal comes amid a probe of sexual harassment at Fox Sports that started less than a week ago. Horowitz’s attorney, Patricia Glaser, told the L.A. TIMES: “The way Jamie has been treated by Fox is appalling. At no point in his tenure was there any mention by his superiors or human resources of any misconduct, or an inability to adhere to professional conduct. Jamie was hired by Fox to do a job that until today he was performing in exemplary fashion. Any slanderous accusations to the contrary will be vigorously defended.”
QUICK CHANGES: Horowitz joined Fox Sports last May as president of national networks. The executive immediately made changes to Fox Sports 1’s afternoon lineup, bringing in his “Embrace Debate” strategy that he used at ESPN. He lured on-air personalities like Colin Cowherd and Skip Bayless from ESPN to anchor the afternoon shows. The network saw its afternoon ratings rise during that year, but they still were way behind ESPN. He also took over Fox Sports Digital in October and recently laid off much of its editorial staff to focus editorial content largely based around video and the network’s personalities. Shanks will seek a replacement for Horowitz. He will handle Horowitz’s responsibilities until then, and FS1 programming, marketing and scheduling and digital will report directly to him.
Horowitz made a name for himself at ESPN, where he first put the “Embrace Debate” strategy into the network’s afternoon line-up. He left ESPN in 2014 to take over NBC’s “Today” show. Horowitz was fired from that role before he officially started amid rumors that he clashed with several members of the show’s staff.
SHANKS MEMO TO STAFF: Below is the internal email Fox Sports President Eric Shanks sent to Fox employees this morning:
I regret to inform you that Jamie Horowitz, President of National Networks for FOX Sports, will be leaving FOX Sports effective immediately. We realize this news may come as a surprise for many of you, but we are confident in this decision.
Everyone at FOX Sports, no matter what role we play, or what business, function or show we contribute to -- should act with respect and adhere to professional conduct at all times. These values are non-negotiable.
Until Jamie’s replacement is named, I am stepping in to handle his former responsibilities including programming, marketing and scheduling for FS1 and FS2, as well as digital. All of these functions will now report directly to me.
We understand how difficult this will be for many of you, but in these times it is important that we remain unwavering and focused in continuing the great work of FOX Sports.