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Fox News yanked off British airwaves

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News is being yanked off the air in the United Kingdom after the right-wing news channel was unable to generate adequate ratings after 15 years on the air.

The Guardian reported that 21st Century Fox, the cable news networks parent company, made the announcement on Tuesday.

“Fox News is focused on the U.S. market and designed for a U.S. audience and, accordingly, it averages only a few thousand viewers across the day in the U.K.,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement. “We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News in the U.K.”

The decision was not connected to Fox’s $ 15 billion bid to takeover Sky, which is the top pay television provider in the U.K., according to CNN. In June U.K. culture secretary, Karen Bradley, said that “she was likely to refer 21st Century Fox’s purchase of Sky for an additional review, setting the merger up for many additional months of delays,” CNN reported. Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority would carry out the supplemental review. The Murdochs already hold an enormous grasp on British media, as they own three major tabloid newspapers: The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times. Bradley expressed concern that the takeover of Sky would give the Murdochs too much power, CNN reported.

While U.K. media regulator Ofcom found the Murdochs to be “fit and proper” to hold a broadcast license, a plethora of recent controversies at the network resulted in some concern. Sexual harassment allegations faced by former Fox News executive Roger Ailes, as well as host Bill O’Reilly revealed “significant failings of the corporate culture” and the behavior was found as “deeply disturbing,” CNN reported.

Though Fox has attempted to distance itself from workplace scandals and correct some of its culture issues, controversies have continued. Earlier this month the network suspended host Eric Bolling after he was accused of sending lewd pictures of himself to female colleagues, unsolicited.

The final Fox News broadcast in the UK was aired at 4 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

Charlie May.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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