NEW YORK — 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.
Ailes was sued by former Fox News broadcaster Gretchen Carlson earlier this month who accused him of sexual harassment. Several other women also came forward reporting similar harassment dating as far back to the 1960s when Ailes was a producer for the Mike Douglas TV show.
Rupert Murdoch will assume the role of Chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.
Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 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.”
Ailes helped launch Fox News in 1996 and made it the highest-rated cable news channel. He could leave the company with a reported $40 million severance.