Raj Shah, a senior vice president at Fox Corporation and former White House communications official, left the company last month, according to a report.
The news was first reported late Thursday night by CNN journalist Oliver Darcy in his “Reliable Sources” newsletter, which covers the current affairs of media organizations and their top executives.
It was not immediately clear what prompted Shah to leave the network. He joined Fox Corporation as a senior vice president in 2019, several months after he left the White House under the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump, where he served as a deputy press secretary.
Shah was based at Fox’s Washington, D.C. offices, where he reported to the network’s chief legal and policy officer, Viet Dinh. It was not clear why Shah resigned from his position in May, and it does not appear he has taken a new job elsewhere.
During his time at Fox, Shah was tasked with protecting the brand image and reputation of Fox and its core assets, to include the Fox News Channel, which came under fire immediately after the 2020 presidential election on two fronts.
On one hand, viewers were furious with the network after it called the presidential race in Arizona for challenger and former Vice President Joe Biden over the incumbent Trump. The projection, which was made first on the Fox News Channel, put Biden over the necessary threshold of electoral college votes to secure the presidency.
On the other, immediately after the election, Fox News commentators and guests began to float conspiracy theories about how Biden was able to win over Trump, to include suggestions that purported flaws in voting machines manufactured and sold by a company called Dominion were faulty and had changed votes.
Dominion sued over the allegations, and the lawsuit was settled for more than $787 million in April. Prior to the settlement, Fox and Dominion spent months deposing witnesses and collecting evidence. It was through this process that unsavory records connected to Fox talent and executives — including Shah — came to light.
Text messages and other records obtained by the Washington Post showed Shah complaining to deputy executives and some talent at Fox News over guests who looked “awful” during segments where election-related matters — including some conspiracy theories — were discussed.
Other records showed Shah criticized Fox News reporters and commentators who denounced some conspiracy theories aired by the network as untrue.
“This is the kind of sh-t that will kill us,” Shah texted a deputy executive at Fox News, according to some records reported by the Post. “We cover it wall-to-wall, and then we burn that down with all the skepticism.”
The Post said Shah was particularly close with Tucker Carlson, the Fox News commentator whose prime-time program earned the highest overall and key demographic ratings across cable news. Shah helped defend Carlson and Fox against pundits and politicians who were critical of seriously questionable claims that were regularly aired on his program, the newspaper reported.
Carlson was the first casualty at Fox News following the network’s blockbuster payout to Dominion: About a week after the case was settled, the channel said it was parting ways with Carlson. A short statement offered by the network initially made it appear as if the decision was mutual, but The Desk and others later learned that Carlson was effectively fired.
The dismissal was rooted largely in text messages and other materials that were unearthed during the Dominion scandal in which Carlson disparaged key executives, talent and other newsroom employees, according to sources. The records violated a clause in Carlson’s contract, and he was offered the opportunity to leave.
Earlier this week, Carlson started his own digital show on the social media platform Twitter.