November 22, 2017

Influential conservative resigned after allegations of sexual harassment last year

Friday, May 19, 2017

Roger Ailes, ex-Fox News chief, dies aged 77

NEW YORK — 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. Ailes’ widow, Elizabeth Ailes, announced his death in a statement posted on the Fox News website yesterday. The cause of death was not immediately known.

He resigned from Fox News last July following allegations of sexual harassment, marking an abrupt end to his 20-year reign at the most-watched cable channel in the United States.

Ailes worked as a media strategist for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush before launching Fox News in 1996. As founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News, Ailes became one of the most influential figures in the Republican Party, and the network was integral to US President Donald Trump’s successful run for the White House in 2016.

Ailes received a severance package of about US$40 million when he left Fox News, owned by 21st Century Fox, according to a source familiar with the situation. He went on to serve as an informal adviser to Rupert Murdoch.

Neither Ailes’ wife nor Fox released any details on the circumstances of his death. He suffered from haemophilia, according to a source familiar with the matter. Gabriel Sherman, a reporter who wrote a biography of Ailes, said on Twitter that Ailes died after suffering a blood clot from a fall in Palm Beach, Florida, citing two family friends. That report could not be immediately confirmed.

Fox has been roiled by sexual harassment claims for more than a year, which prompted Ailes’ exit last summer and in April forced the departure of Bill O’Reilly, the channel’s most-watched host, after the New York Times reported that Fox and O’Reilly had paid five women a total of US$13 million to settle harassment claims.

Herald with Reuters

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