“We realize this news may come as a surprise for many of you, but we are confident in this decision,” Shanks said.
Shanks’ email suggested that Horowitz’s sudden departure could be related to a conduct issue, according to philly.com.
“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,” Shanks said. “These values are non-negotiable.”
Until a replacement is named, Shanks will step in to handle Horowitz’s responsibilities, which include overseeing programming on FS1 and FS2 and managing FoxSports.com.
FOX Sports did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Here is the full email, sent by Shanks to employees on Monday 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.
According to Radio Sports Consultant Jason Barrett, Horowitz sent shockwaves throughout the industry last week when FOX Sports ditched its digital strategy in favor of a video distribution model. The change resulted in a number of staffers being let go and industry pundits questioning whether or not FOX was making a critical mistake.
Barrett writes in his blog, "What will be interesting going forward is if FOX stays committed to the vision Horowitz set in place or if they look to reverse course and pursue an alternative path. With Nick Wright and Cris Carter on their way to New York to launch a new morning show in September, Katie Nolan sitting on the sidelines awaiting word on what her new role will be, and others like Cowherd and Bayless being expensive acquisitions and huge supporters of Horowitz, the future at FOX Sports suddenly became very cloudy. For the sake of all involved, let’s hope better news is on the way soon."