Roger Ailes: Inside The Mixed Legacy Of A Media Visionary


Roger Ailes, founder and former chief executive of Fox News, the cable news channel popular with conservatives that helped reshape the US political landscape, has died at age 77.

With high-tech production values and cheeky slogans like "Fair and Balanced" and "We Report, You Decide", Fox News quickly challenged what Ailes viewed as a liberal-leaning mainstream media. No cause of death for the conservative TV news heavyweight was announced.

Ailes resigned from the network last summer amid sexual harassment allegations, with O'Reilly leaving the network last month for similar reasons. He advised at least four Republican presidents, President Donald Trump among them.

FILE - In this January 30, 1996 file photo, Roger Ailes, left, speaks at a news conference as Rupert Murdoch looks on after it was announced that Ailes will be chairman and CEO of Fox News.

According to Guardian, Alies received a Dollars 40 million payout for his departure from Fox News and was to remain as a consultant to the network till 2018. "Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have", Murdoch said.

"Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs", the 86-year-old said in a statement. Fox host Sean Hannity called him "a second father".

"In the years I worked with Ailes he was a great mentor, deeply patriotic, committed to Fox News and really anxious about America", Gingrich, a Republican, wrote on Twitter.

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

In 1996 he helped launch Fox News, which would dramatically change the media landscape.

"He wasn't ideal, but Roger Ailes was my friend & I loved him". And that meant more to him. "But appreciated our frank, back-channel conversations".

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Ailes is survived by his third wife, Elizabeth, who had worked for him at CNBC as vice president of programming, and their son, Zachary.

Ailes, who was a hemophiliac, was hospitalized in recent days after complications from a fall, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the situation. Reuters could not immediately confirm Sherman's report.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is adding his voice to those mourning Fox News Channel founder Roger Ailes.

Still, others noted that his legacy was undoubtedly marked by the culture of harassment that some say flourished at Fox News under his watch. Despite the high-profile departures, Fox News ratings have remained strong. O'Reilly was sacked his top-rated show at Fox in April after reports surfaced that the network had settled lawsuits with five women who alleged he sexually harassed them.

While his cause of death is now undisclosed, a reporter for New York Magazine, Gabriel Sherman, tweeted his thoughts. Ailes' influential career at Fox News came to a crashing end after he was targeted in a sexual harassment suit by Carlson, a popular host and former Miss America, who claimed she was sacked for refusing his advances.

Ailes disliked the media - didn't trust them - and avoided reporters when he could. 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.

Soon after the lawsuit, Ailes was removed from his position, though Fox has continued to suffer losses. "Latest on what we know, per family friend: 'Last week Ailes had some kind of blood clot in Palm Beach".

Ailes left the company a year ago amid a number of accusations that he sexually harassed women at the company.

"Florida has awesome creditor protection", Tritt said.

Ailes also owned homes in Cresskill, New Jersey, and Garrison, New York. The Cresskill home was up for sale at the time of his death, according to public records.