EXCLUSIVE: News Corp have remained silent on a possible alcohol and cocaine culture prevalent within its management ranks after a senior Sky News executive pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife last week and was ordered by a court to stay away from her while under the influence of booze and other drugs. Sky News executive, Rob Raschke, has now been placed on leave but his bosses and senior colleagues at News Corp are staying quiet on whether the powerful media executive will face any further punishment from his employers.
Mr Raschke pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault on Wednesday, February 28 at the Downing Local Centre Courts in Sydney after being arrested the night before at 7pm.
The 52-year-old had been charged over a violent incident involving his wife, Rachel, that took place in the early hours of Saturday morning (February 24) just after 2am. The couple live together in Sydney’s inner-city.
Mr Raschke, who held senior positions at Channel Seven for about 15 years before moving to Sky News, is considered to be “one of the most experienced television news directors in the country”, according to the Daily Mail.
The court has granted an apprehended violence order against Mr Raschke which states that he must not be near his wife or approach her for at least 12 hours after consuming alcohol or illicit drugs, which True Crime News Weekly believes to be cocaine.
The AVO also states that Mr Raschke must not assault, threaten, stalk, harass or intimidate his wife or “intentionally or recklessly destroy or damage any property that belongs to or is in the possession of Rachel Mary Raschke”.
Mr Raschke was appointed as Executive Editor of Sky News Australia in February 2016. Before that, he was the National Director of News for Channel Seven, and was at the television network during the highly publicised sex and cocaine scandal involving its CEO, Tim Worner.
On his official LinkedIn bio, Mr Raschke describes himself as an “experienced media executive whose career has taken him to the top levels of his craft”. Among the “signature skills” that Mr Raschke has listed, the television executive claims to be “a leader who takes people with them” and that he is “inclusive, results orientated and future-focused”.
Mr Raschke also claims to have “comfort with ambiguity … thriving in turbulence” and that he is fond of “challenging the status quo and seeking people to break old habits and develop powerful new habits”.
True Crime News Weekly reached out to management at News Corp this week to ascertain further details about the matters. We enquired as to whether there was an alcohol and cocaine culture within the media giant’s management ranks and whether female staff could feel safe within Sky News, considering that one of their bosses was now a convicted domestic abuser of women with a public history of alcohol and drugs misuse.
We also asked if Mr Raschke would be terminated from his position at Sky News on the basis that having a convicted domestic abuser in a leadership position within a media company might not be the best look, particularly when that media organisation has to report on issues involving violence against women and domestic violence.
In response to our queries, management at Sky News said they could not discuss any of the issues raised.
“The matter is before the courts, accordingly there will be no comment,” a spokesperson said.
Although Mr Raschke was expected to be sentenced on April 11, it has now come out that Mr Raschke will be trying to change his plea of guilty to not guilty, with his wife now also apparently not intending to pursue the matter. It is claimed that Mr Raschke’s lawyers incorrectly entered a guilty plea on his behalf.
“Rob is yet to make a formal plea, but is pleading not guilty to the assault charge,” a spokesperson for Mr Raschke told media trade publication B&T.
Of great interest, apart from the Daily Mail’s article and a short report in The Australian (a News Corp owned publication), almost every single major media outlet has stayed silent so far on Mr Raschke’s domestic violence charge and his alleged wayward ways.
The apparent media blackout on the reporting of Mr Raschke’s domestic violence charge and claims of drug misuse can be juxtaposed in stark contrast to how media outlets regularly publish news of high-profile sports stars accused of, or, guilty of domestic violence.
True Crime News Weekly questions why drunk or drugged up sports stars assaulting women is considered wall-to-wall news but not so when a high-powered media executive is allegedly engaged in similar activities. According to a Crikey article in 2015, News Corp actually “loves” reporting on domestic violence when it involves perpetrators and victims of Muslim backgrounds. And it should also be recalled that it is News Corp that has been leading the media cheerleading on calls by the Federal Government to introduce counter-productive and punitive drug testing of poor people receiving welfare payments.
In any event, it’s a bit rich for the media to continually call upon the public to transparently and openly discuss domestic violence and the abuse of women if a code of silence is enacted so quickly when it so happens to involve one of their own.
Mr Raschke is next expected at court by April 11 at latest.