Tags: Fox News | roger ailes | rupert murdoch | control | programming

Murdoch Taking More Control of Fox News Programming

Image: Murdoch Taking More Control of Fox News Programming
Rupert Murdoch (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Thursday, 14 Jan 2016 05:17 PM

Rupert Murdoch is exerting more and more influence on programming of his cable news empire, New York Magazine reports.

The change comes as Fox News appears to be pushing hard to support Sen. Marco Rubio in its coverage of the 2016 presidential race. At the same time, the network seems to be giving the brush to both GOP front-runner Donald Trump and his close rival Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Murdoch "marking his territory," one person briefed on the matter told Gabriel Sherman, the magazine's media correspondent.

The mogul's moves are essentially diminishing the role of longtime Fox News chief Roger Ailes.

Four high-placed Fox sources tell Sherman that since June, Murdoch has attended Ailes's daily executive meeting of a "half-dozen of the network's most senior lieutenants," who discuss "some of the most sensitive decisions about running the channel."

"He wants a smooth handover" when the 75-year-old Ailes eventually leaves, one executive told Sherman. That executive mentioned Michael Clemente, who's in charge of news, and Bill Shine, who oversees Fox Business Network, as possible candidates for that job. Both are said to have such a fierce rivalry, they "rarely speak."

According to Sherman, Ailes threatened to quit when Murdoch tapped his sons, Lachlan and James, to take over the media group — but later inked a new contract after putting out a statement that he would report directly to Rupert.

The tug-of-war continued when Fox fired off a press release insisting that Ailes would serve Rupert as well as Lachlan and James.

It's a startling change from the Ailes' near autonomy at Fox over the past two decades during which his programming decisions were rarely questioned.

"As long as the profits rolled in, Murdoch virtually never meddled in Ailes's world — even when his own family protested," Sherman writes.

No more.

Ailes, who has had health issues in the past few years, "has trouble walking and rarely ventures out of his executive suite," according to Sherman.

"A friend who ran into Ailes in Palm Beach over the holidays remarked that he was using a walker," Sherman says.

Murdoch, meanwhile, thanked Ailes in a post on Twitter before Thursday night's GOP debate.


Sherman's inquiries to 21st Century Fox as well as Ailes's spokesperson, Irena Briganti, were not answered.

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Rupert Murdoch is exerting more and more influence on programming of his cable news empire, New York Magazine reports.
roger ailes, rupert murdoch, control, programming
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2016-17-14
Thursday, 14 Jan 2016 05:17 PM
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