The conservative Drudge Report is reporting that Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is leaving the network. New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman reported today that parent company 21st Century Fox had given Ailes a deadline of August 1 to resign or be fired in light of its investigation into his alleged sexual harassment.
The Drudge Report, which is run by former Fox News host Matt Drudge, splashed this top banner on its website this afternoon:
Matt Drudge also posted a picture of a document regarding the “terms of separation agreement and release.”
EXCLUSIVE: AILES LEAVES FOXNEWS
$40+ MILLION PARACHUTE pic.twitter.com/vXoWfPUTLT
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) July 19, 2016
The Daily Beast also reported, “Fox News confirmed to The Daily Beast editor-at-large Lloyd Grove on Tuesday that beleagured chairman and CEO Roger Ailes will depart the cable news network.”
Ailes has been under fire since July 6, when former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against him alleging sexual harassment and retaliation. As other women have come forward to levy similar accusations against Ailes, the network’s hosts and anchors -- along with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump -- have rallied around him.
Media Matters will post more on its website about Ailes and his legacy on the conservative network as this story develops.
UPDATES: Drudge has since deleted his tweet which posted a picture of the “separation agreement and release.” Here is a screenshot of that original tweet.
Daily Beast updated its piece and now states: “Fox initially confirmed Drudge’s report to The Daily Beast, and subsequently walked back that confirmation. Additionally, Drudge replaced a headline touting the buyout with a new one on 'Fox News Drama,' including a statement from the network: 'Roger Ailes has never sexually harassed Megyn Kelly. In fact, he has spent much of the last decade promoting and helping her to achieve the stardom she earned, for which she has repeatedly and publicly thanked him.'”
CNN.com reported of the Ailes news:
A person close to Ailes denied a claim on The Drudge Report, since changed, that Ailes was officially leaving the channel. However, an executive with direct knowledge of the situation said that talks that will likely lead to Ailes' departure are ongoing.
A statement put out by 21st Century Fox on Twitter read, “Roger is at work. The review is ongoing. The only agreement that is in place is his existing employment agreement.”
Drudge has updated its site to claim: “EXCLUSIVE: 'FOX & FRIENDS' AND 'THE FIVE' ANCHORS, GRETA, O'REILLY, HANNITY SET TALENT MEETING TO DISCUSS WALKING OUT ON NEWS NETWORK... DEVELOPING...” Sherman responded by tweeting, “Drudge headline is Ailes spin attempt at spin, Fox source in Cleveland says talent has not set meeting to stage walk out. 'Absolutely not.'”
The New York Times is reporting that “Ailes and 21st Century Fox, Fox News’s parent company, are in the advanced stages of discussions that would lead to his departure as chairman, Susan Estrich, one of Mr. Ailes’s lawyers, said in an interview on Tuesday.”
Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier aired a story about Ailes' reported impending departure. Media reporter Howard Kurtz did not mention reports that Ailes is on his way out.
This post has been updated and its headline has also been updated to reflect the changing nature of the story.