21st Century Fox has announced that Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is leaving the network. Fox has been conducting an internal review of Ailes’ conduct after former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.
Rupert Murdoch, 21st Century Fox executive chairman, said in a press release that he will take over the role of chairman and acting CEO of Fox News and Fox Business. Murdoch praised Ailes for making “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. 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.”
The Drudge Report posted an “exclusive” letter from Ailes to Murdoch in which he wrote that he is “proud that we have built Fox News and Fox Business Channels into powerful and lucrative news organizations” and “will not allow my presence to become a distraction.” He added that he looks “forward to continuing to work with you as a consultant in building 21st Century Fox.”
Ailes also wrote that he takes “particular pride in the role that I have played advancing the careers of the many women I have promoted to executive and on-air positions.”
Media Matters chairman David Brock released the following statement on July 18 in response to news about Ailes’ impending departure:
Fox News has been the undisputed champion of sexism and misogyny in the media and as the head of Fox News, it's not shocking that this culture of sexism -- on and off the air -- starts at the top with Roger Ailes. If this report is accurate, there is a special irony in 21st Century Fox preparing to remove Ailes as the Republican National Convention gets ready to nominate known misogynist Donald Trump, the candidate that Fox News created.
Media Matters has recently published several pieces about Ailes’ legacy:
UPDATES: The Hollywood Reporter wrote of Ailes' departure: "Terms of the exit agreement have not been released, but sources say Ailes will walk away with $40 million, which is the remainder left on his contract, which originally extended into 2018. There is also no formal advisory role in the exit agreement, but Ailes will be available to Rupert Murdoch during the transition period. And sources say there is a non-compete clause in the exit agreement, which is standard."
Following Ailes' official resignation, Media Matters founder David Brock issued the following statement:
Media Matters has successfully branded Fox News as a network not to be trusted. We combat their on-air falsehoods, sexism, and misogyny daily. While Roger Ailes ultimately went down as a result of his heinous behavior, twelve years of Media Matters calling out his network for outrageous right-wing propaganda and ensuring that millions of people were aware of it in real-time certainly didn't hurt.