Former Fox News producer commits suicide outside company’s headquarters
(NY Daily News) NEW YORK – A former Fox television news producer from Texas with a grudge against his bosses shot himself to death outside company headquarters in Midtown on Monday, police said.
A suicide note and a gun were found with the body of Phillip Perea, who died from a bullet to the chest, sources said. A stack of business cards that read “The American workplace bully: How Fox News ended my career” lay nearby.
Perea worked at Fox 7KTBC, the network’s Austin affiliate, for 10 months ending in June, Fox television stations CEO Jack Abernethy said in a message to employees.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” the message read.
Perea had said he was fired for “dubious reasons.”
He posted a 23-minute video on YouTube in July chronicling his issues with the station.
In the video, the station’s general manager, Mike Lewis, talks to Perea about a recent complaint Perea filed against his superiors.
The video doesn’t show either man and consists of words on a screen with audio of the conversation. Perea received two bad reviews that he thought were unfair, he says on the recording.
He hit back at the reviews with a 100-page rebuttal.
During the conversation, the manager tells Perea his co-workers fear him.
“I’m talking about the fact that you make some people uncomfortable,” the manager says. “They’re afraid of you.”
At one point, the manager tells Perea he’s going to have his file “sent to our home office.” He then suspends Perea indefinitely with pay.
Perea also says in a video that “2014 was the worst year of my life.” It’s time for Fox News to have the worst year of its existence,” he said.
He also took aim at the network on Twitter. “Congratulations Fox, this is all the money I have left to my name, $104,” he wrote last Thursday.
Perea posted a tweet Friday that appears to show he believed he was being bullied.
“Once the people realize they don’t have to suffer a bully, they will rise up,” he tweeted with the hashtag theamericanworkplacebully.
He tweeted his last time about an hour before shooting himself.
“The 7th and final chapter of theamericanworkplacebully,” he posted, using the hashtag We’reWithPhil.
“The end … or the beginning.”
Emergency responders were called to 1211 Sixth Ave. just before 9 am., an FDNY spokesman said. The building houses News Corp. properties such as Fox News, Dow Jones & Co. and The Wall Street Journal.
A spokeswoman for Fox stations had no comment.
Kris Lew, who works in a coffee truck next to the plaza, said she heard what had sounded like two shots — the second likely being the sound of the gunfire echoing from the Sixth Ave. skyscrapers.
“It was ‘pop pop!’ Just like that,” Lew said.