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Roger Ailes Resigns From Fox News

Image: Roger Ailes Resigns From Fox News

By    |   Thursday, 21 Jul 2016 04:16 PM

Embattled Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes resigned Thursday from the network he built from scratch over two decades ago amid the fallout from a lawsuit filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson alleging sexual harassment and discrimination.

Ailes, 76, will remain as a consultant to the cable network through 2018, 21st Century Fox said in a statement. His resignation was effective immediately.

Rupert Murdoch, 85, executive chairman of News Corporation, will become chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network, the company said.

News Corporation also owns 21st Century Fox. The Fox News Channel contributes more than $1 billion a year to the company.

"Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country," Murdoch said in the statement. "Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years."

Murdoch further praised Ailes and his role in shaping Fox into a conservative news powerhouse.

"Fox News has given voice to those who were ignored by the traditional networks and has been one of the great commercial success stories of modern media," he said.

"It is always difficult to create a channel or a publication from the ground up and against seemingly entrenched monopolies," he added. "To lead a flourishing news channel, and to build Fox Business, Roger has defied the odds.

"His grasp of policy and his ability to make profoundly important issues accessible to a broader audience stand in stark contrast to the self-serving elitism that characterizes far too much of the media," Murdoch said.

"I am personally committed to ensuring that Fox News remains a distinctive, powerful voice," he added. "Our nation needs a robust Fox News to resonate from every corner of the country."

Murdoch said he would assume the roles — with the current management team of Bill Shine, Jay Wallace and Mark Kranz — "to ensure continuity of all that is best about Fox News and what it stands for."

His sons – Lachlan, 21st Century Fox’s executive chairman, and James, the company's CEO – also lauded Ailes' "remarkable contributions to our company.

"Our talented Fox News and Fox Business colleagues, up and down the organization and on both sides of the camera, have built something that continues to redefine the cable news experience for millions of viewers," they said in the statement. "We are enormously proud of their accomplishments.

"For them, as well as for our colleagues across our entire organization, we continue our commitment to maintaining a work environment based on trust and respect," the brothers said. "We take seriously our responsibility to uphold these traditional, long-standing values of our company."

Ailes' resignation capped an explosive three weeks after Carlson, 50, claimed in a lawsuit filed on July 6 that the former Republican political consultant took her off the "Fox & Friends" morning show in 2013 and lowered her pay because she refused to have a sexual relationship with him.

She also claimed that Ailes called her a "man hater" and that he criticized her for becoming offended in confrontations with male colleagues, including former co-host Steve Doocy.

On Tuesday, New York magazine reported that star anchor Megyn Kelly told Fox investigations that Ailes had harassed when she was a reporter at the network 10 years ago.

Kelly is a former corporate attorney whom Ailes hired from a local television station in Washington in 2004. She is paid an estimated $15 million a year by Fox, according to news reports.

Ailes has denied harassing both Carlson and Kelly — and his attorneys have since asked a federal court to send Carlson's action into arbitration, which would have been required under her contract.

In addition, U.S. District Judge Jose Linares said Wednesday that he would review written arguments before holding a hearing Aug. 15 on whether the case should remain with him in Newark, N.J., or be transferred to federal court in New York.

Ailes' attorneys say the case belongs in Manhattan.

However, several prominent women at Fox News have expressed support for the chairman, including Greta Van Susteren, Maria Bartiromo, Ainsley Earhardt and Harris Faulkner.

Ailes has also been endorsed by such high-profile males as Bret Baier, Neil Cavuto and Bill O'Reilly, according to news reports.

A media consultant for several Republican presidents — including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — Ailes' television career began in the 1960s with "The Mike Douglas Show."

The resignation comes as Fox News, known for a lineup of politically conservative commentators including best-selling author O'Reilly, is drawing record viewership. The network is the most-watched channel in all of basic cable television this year with an average of 2.2 million prime-time viewers, according to Nielsen data through June.

Ailes' long experience as both a television producer and a Republican strategist helped him to formulate a winning strategy: hire charismatic talent to appeal to a conservative audience.

Critics said Ailes pushed a Republican agenda under the oft-repeated slogan "Fair and Balanced." His fans said he smartly recognized that conservative TV viewers were not seeing their viewpoints reflected on Time Warner Inc's CNN or major broadcast networks.

Fox News Channel went on the air in 1996, just before Bill Clinton was elected to a second term, with Ailes as founding CEO.

While Ailes' departure may not come at an ideal time for Fox News, the momentum of record ratings amid the most sensational U.S. presidential election in decades may give the cable network some breathing room to recover, media buyers and Wall Street analysts have told Reuters.

And some of them say this could be an opportunity for Fox News, whose median age of viewers is over 65, to focus on getting younger fans.

Fox News released this full statement Thursday afternoon:

21st Century Fox today announced that Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, and Chairman of Fox Television Stations, has resigned from his role effective immediately.

Rupert Murdoch will assume the role of Chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.

Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman, 21st Century Fox, said:

“Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country. Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years.

Fox News has given voice to those who were ignored by the traditional networks and has been one of the great commercial success stories of modern media.

It is always difficult to create a channel or a publication from the ground up and against seemingly entrenched monopolies. To lead a flourishing news channel, and to build Fox Business, Roger has defied the odds.

His grasp of policy and his ability to make profoundly important issues accessible to a broader audience stand in stark contrast to the self-serving elitism that characterizes far too much of the media.

I am personally committed to ensuring that Fox News remains a distinctive, powerful voice. Our nation needs a robust Fox News to resonate from every corner of the country.

To ensure continuity of all that is best about Fox News and what it stands for, I will take over as Chairman and acting CEO, with the support of our existing management team under Bill Shine, Jay Wallace and Mark Kranz.”

Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch, 21st Century Fox’s Executive Chairman, and CEO, respectively, said:

“We join our father in recognizing Roger’s remarkable contributions to our company. Our talented Fox News and Fox Business colleagues, up and down the organization and on both sides of the camera, have built something that continues to redefine the cable news experience for millions of viewers. We are enormously proud of their accomplishments. For them, as well as for our colleagues across our entire organization, we continue our commitment to maintaining a work environment based on trust and respect. We take seriously our responsibility to uphold these traditional, long-standing values of our company.”

Material from Reuters was used in this story.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
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Roger Ailes has officially resigned from Fox News. The statement from Fox: 21st Century Fox today announced that Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, and Chairman of Fox Television Stations, has resigned from his role effective...
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Thursday, 21 Jul 2016 04:16 PM
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