Date
21 October 2017
Roger Ailes (right) has run Fox News with little interference from Rupert Murdoch (left) but his dealings with the latter's sons have been tense. Photo: Huffington Post
Roger Ailes (right) has run Fox News with little interference from Rupert Murdoch (left) but his dealings with the latter's sons have been tense. Photo: Huffington Post

Roger Ailes, Fox News in talks over exit

Fox News chief Roger Ailes and 21st Century Fox are negotiating his exit after a sexual harassment lawsuit by a former network anchor.

An agreement could take some time but talks are continuing between the network and Ailes’s lawyers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Ailes is likely to be asked to help with the transition given his pivotal role in running the biggest US cable network.

Ailes is fighting a lawsuit by former anchor Gretchen Carlson, who claims her contract with the network was not renewed as retaliation for her complaints about a hostile work atmosphere at Fox News and improper advances by Ailes.

Ailes has denied the charges, saying she was let go because of performance issues.

The 76-year-old former political consultant launched Fox News in 1996 and built it into one of the most powerful — and controversial — news and opinion platforms in the US. 

The suit by Carlson does not name Fox News-parent 21st Century Fox as a defendant but has become a distraction for the company.

Fox retained the law firm of Paul, Weiss to conduct an internal investigation.

The controversy surrounding Fox News has been the biggest management test thus far for James and Lachlan Murdoch, who were elevated in the 21st Century Fox media empire last year.

James serves as chief executive while Lachlan and their father, Rupert Murdoch, are co-executive chairmen of the entertainment powerhouse.

Rupert Murdoch also is executive chairman of News Corp.

Ailes has a loyal following at Fox News and Fox Business and has typically operated with little interference from the leadership at 21st Century Fox, in part because of his close relationship with Rupert Murdoch, according to WSJ.

But his dealings with Murdoch’s sons have been tense.

The exit package for Ailes could include a payout in the tens of millions of dollars, a person familiar with the matter said.

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