“Based on investigative findings, Ed has been terminated,” Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace said in the memo.
Henry, 48, who joined Fox from CNN in 2011, was named co-anchor of the morning news show “America’s Newsroom” in December, hosting the three-hour daily show alongside Sandra Smith. He will be replaced with “rotating news anchors” until his replacement is chosen.
Smith announced Henry’s firing in a brief on-air statement Wednesday morning. She told viewers that Scott and Wallace “emphasized that we will continue to strive to maintain a safe and inclusive workplace for all employees.”
In a statement late Wednesday, his lawyer, Catherine M. Foti, said that Henry “denies the allegations referenced in Fox’s announcement this morning and is confident that he will be vindicated after a full hearing in an appropriate forum.”
It appears to be a second offense for Henry, who was off the air for nearly four months in 2016 after In Touch magazine published text messages between him and a Las Vegas hostess and stripper with whom he was alleged to have had a 10-month extramarital affair. Fox insiders say that the latest allegations are unrelated to the 2016 one, which prompted Fox to reassign him from the White House to national politics.
He is a veteran Washington reporter, having spent eight years covering Capitol Hill for Roll Call and then joining CNN in 2006 as a correspondent. He became the network’s White House correspondent two years later, and stayed on that beat when he jumped to Fox News. He also served a term as president of the White House Correspondents’ Association.
On “America’s Newsroom,” he had replaced Bill Hemmer, who took over for Shepard Smith as the network’s 3 p.m. news host. Fox staffers said Wednesday that the newsroom was shocked and stunned by the announcement of his firing.
The former colleague who accused Henry of sexual misconduct is represented by attorney Douglas Wigdor, who has represented women in a number of high-profile discrimination and sexual harassment cases, including 20 women who have leveled complaints over their treatment while working at Fox and several who made allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Wigdor also briefly represented Tara Reade, the former Senate staffer who accused Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993, a charge Biden categorically denied; Wigdor stopped representing her after less than two weeks.
Wigdor said Wednesday that he is “not presently at liberty to share any further information” about the claim against Henry.
In the memo, Fox restated the company’s policy on such misconduct: “Fox News Media strictly prohibits all forms of sexual harassment, misconduct, and discrimination. We will continue striving to maintain a safe and inclusive workplace for all employees.”
In July 2016, then-chairman of Fox News Roger Ailes left the network after an external investigation that was launched after former anchor Gretchen Carlson sued him for sexual harassment. The network’s biggest star, conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly, was fired in 2017 after revelations that he had settled five misconduct allegations for more than $40 million, settlements partially paid by Fox itself. Eric Bolling, a co-host of “The Five” discussion program, departed Fox later that same year amid allegations that he sent lewd photos to co-workers.
By Wednesday morning, Fox News Channel removed Henry’s biography page.
Updated 10:15 p.m.
Paul Farhi contributed to this report.