DRUDGEFOXACALYPSE: Murdochs Push for Ailes to Leave Fox News

drudgefoxacalypse

The departure of Mr Ailes could have an impact on the Republican party. Supremely well connected, he has helped shape the Republican agenda for more than a decade. 

Roger Ailes is heading for the exit at Fox News Channel, the influential cable network beloved by American conservatives, with Rupert Murdoch and his sons in agreement that he should leave amid allegations of sexual harassment.

“Three of Fox News’ biggest stars — Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren — have clauses in their contracts that would allow them to depart if Mr Ailes were to leave the network…”

The timing and terms of the departure of the man who turned Fox News into a media and political powerhouse were unclear on Tuesday evening. Mr Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, the channel’s parent company, and Lachlan, his older son and co-chairman, would prefer to wait until after this week’s Republican convention, two people briefed on the matter told the Financial Times.

James Murdoch, Mr Murdoch’s younger son and chief executive, was pushing for Mr Ailes to go as soon as possible, those people said.

Late on Tuesday, the Drudge Report said that Mr Ailes had left Fox News with a $40m severance package. 21st Century Fox denied the report in a tweeted statement, saying: “Roger is at work. The review is ongoing. The only agreement that is in place is his existing employment agreement.”

Washington, D.C. - April 21, 2007 -- Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch attend a party prior to the 2007 White House Correspondents Association dinner at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening, April 21, 2007.

“In another blow to Mr Ailes, New York magazine reported on Tuesday that Megyn Kelly, arguably Fox News’ biggest star, told lawyers leading the internal investigation that Mr Ailes had sexually harassed her a decade ago. 21st Century Fox declined to comment on the report and Fox News referred queries to its parent company.”

In 2012, the last year for which Mr Ailes’ pay was disclosed in the company’s proxy filing, he earned a total of $21m, including a $5m salary.

The likely departure of the former aide to Richard Nixon who defied the odds when he launched Fox News 20 years ago could present a big problem for the Murdochs. Three of Fox News’ biggest stars — Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren — have clauses in their contracts that would allow them to depart if Mr Ailes were to leave the network, the two people briefed on the dispute said.

This means a core team of on-air talent could follow Mr Ailes out of the door…(read more)

Source: FT.com



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