21st Century Fox has confirmed the departure of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network chairman Roger Ailes.
Fox said that Ailes, who was also chairman of Fox Television Stations, had resigned from his role with immediate effect and that 21st Century Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch would take over his role at Fox News and Fox Business Network personally in an acting capacity.
Ailes’ departure follows a string of sexual harassment claims against the executive. Former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes two weeks ago, leading to similar allegations by other women dating back to the 1960s. Fox anchor Megyn Kelly told investigators that Ailes had also harassed her.
Ailes has denied the charges.
“Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country,” said Murdoch. “Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organisation 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 starkcontrast to the self-serving elitism that characterises far too much of the media.”
Murdoch continued: “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.”