By Phil Helsel
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Roger Ailes resigned as chairman and CEO of Fox News Thursday, after days of speculation as to his future with the network after a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against him by a former anchor, 21st Century Fox said.
Ailes also resigned Fox Business Network and Fox Television Stations, effective immediately, the company said. The announcement was made hours before Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was set to speak on the final night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
21st Century Fox co-chairman Rupert Murdoch will take over as chairman and acting CEO of the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network, the company 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,” Murdoch said in a statement.
Ailes, 76, was accused of sexual harassment in a lawsuit filed earlier this month by former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson.
Ailes indicated in a letter to Murdoch released by a publicist that he would remain in an advisory role. “I am proud of our accomplishments and look forward to continuing to work with you as an adviser in building 21st Century Fox,” Ailes stated in the letter.
There was speculation this week that Fox News Channel was nearing a decision on Ailes’ future with the channel.
21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, launched a review after Carlson filed her lawsuit on July 6.
Carlson claimed in the suit that Ailes “sabotaged her career” after she rejected his sexual advances. The lawsuit quoted Ailes as saying “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better,” adding, “sometimes problems are easier to solve” that way.
Carlson was with Fox News for 11 years before last month. She was on network’s popular morning show “Fox & Friends” but was removed and reassigned to an afternoon time slot in 2013. She most recently hosted “The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson.”
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