Issues related to sexual harassment continued to plague 21st Century Fox as its Fox Business Network subsidiary confirmed on Thursday that it had suspended a longtime anchor, Charles Payne, pending an investigation into his conduct.
The development came exactly a year after a sexual harassment scandal at Fox News first burst into public view with a lawsuit against Roger E. Ailes, the networkâs former chairman. As claims of widespread harassment continued to surface, 21st Century Fox has tried to clean house, ousting Mr. Ailes, the former star Bill OâReilly and several other employees.
The suspension of Mr. Payne came after The National Enquirer published an article on Wednesday in which he acknowledged and apologized for an extramarital affair with a former CNN and Fox News contributor. That woman made claims of misconduct against Mr. Payne to lawyers for Fox, according to a person briefed on the matter.
âWe take issues of this nature extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy for any professional misconduct,â a spokeswoman for Fox Business said in a statement. âThis matter is being thoroughly investigated and we are taking all of the appropriate steps to reach a resolution in a timely manner.â
Mr. Payne could not immediately be reached for comment. A lawyer for Mr. Payne, Neal Korval, did not respond to requests for comment but told The Los Angeles Times that his client denied the allegations.
The Los Angeles Times first reported that Mr. Payne had been suspended after the claims of misconduct were made.
Fox Business announced last month that it had renewed Mr. Payneâs contract with the network in a multiyear deal. Mr. Payne, who joined the network as a contributor at its start in 2007, has hosted the âMaking Moneyâ program at 6 p.m. since 2014. The network said that a rotating group of substitutes would fill in for him during his suspension.