Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network and chairman of Fox Television stations, has resigned from those roles effective immediately.
Ailes has been under fire ever since former Fox & Friends anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit accusing Ailes of sexual harassment, claiming the Fox News chief fired her after she rebuffed his repeated advances. In the wake of Carlson’s lawsuit, several other former and current female Fox employees have reportedly come forward with similar claims.
According to a report in New York Magazine earlier this week, Fox parent 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch, and co-executive chairmen Lachlan Murdoch and Rueprt Murdoch had agreed that Ailes should leave the company, but couldn’t agree on timing. According to the report, Rupert and Lachlan wanted to wait until after the Republican National Convention to oust Ailes, while James wanted it to occur this week. Tonight is the last night of the RNC, where nominee Donald Trump, a Fox News staple, is scheduled to make his acceptance speech.
Rupert Murdoch will assume Ailes’ duties as chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.
“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,” Rupert Murdoch said in a statement. “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.”
Murdoch continued that he takes on the added roles with the support of Fox’s existing management team under Bill Shine, Jay Wallace and Mark Kranz.
“We join our father in recognizing Roger’s remarkable contributions to our company,” Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch said in a joint statement. “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.”
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