Former Fox News chief Roger Ailes dies at 77


Former Fox News Channel chairman and chief executive Roger Ailes, who revolutionized TV news, but left the network amid sexual harassment allegations last summer, died Thursday. At 21st Century Fox we will always be enormously grateful for the great business he built.

Ailes left Fox News a year ago after a series of sexual harassment allegations were levied against him.

The network he helped found in 1996 cited a statement released by his family confirming the late media mogul's death.

Ailes' was also an adviser to the Donald Trump campaign in 2016, where he assisted him with debate preparation.

Ailes received a severance package of about $40 million when he left Fox News, owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Ailes went into politics after meeting President Richard Nixon, who made an appearance on The Mike Douglas Show in 1967, according to Fox News.

"Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have", he added.

"Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs", the 86-year-old said in a statement.

In a series of messages, Fox News host Sean Hannity tweeted tributes to his onetime boss, saying he was "like a second father".

"Today, America lost one of its great patriotic warriors", Hannity said on Twitter.

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"A brilliant broadcaster, Roger played a huge role in shaping America's media over the last 30 years", Murdoch said.

"He wasn't flawless, but Roger Ailes was my friend & I loved him". "Railed against him many times. But appreciated our frank, back-channel conversations". And let's turn now to NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik, who has reported on and written extensively about Ailes and Fox News.

Ailes died this morning at 77, reportedly of complications from a fall days earlier that put him in a coma. There are also unconfirmed reports that he recently suffered a fall.

That October, Ailes flipped the switch on Fox News Channel, which within a few years became the audience leader in cable news. Despite the high-profile departures, Fox News ratings have remained strong.

Ailes and Fox News face several sex and race discrimination lawsuits from current and former anchors and other employees. At least a half-dozen other women, including former Fox News star Megyn Kelly, came forward to accuse Ailes, who denied wrongdoing.

Many prominent conservatives paid respect to Ailes, who advised a number of Republican presidential candidates before helping launch Fox News. A caller told 911 dispatchers at about 1:49 p.m., moments after the accident happened, that Ailes was lying on the floor and bleeding seriously after he fell accidentally.

Before his death, Ailes took steps to limit any financial loss from lawsuits against him.

At Fox News Ailes was known for ruling with an iron fist, but at the same time he's also credited for making careers. In the past 10 months, top earner Bill O'Reilly has been fired, Co-President Bill Shine lasted only eight months and anchor Jesse Watters was accused of sexual harassment.

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