Roger Ailes' reign as head of Fox News may be coming to an end according to a new report.
The story in New York Magazine by Gabriel Sherman, whose reporting on Ailes has been criticized by the news channel before, says that Rupert, James and Lachlan Murdoch have agreed that Ailes needs to be removed as chairman of Fox News but that they haven’t agreed on how and when to do it.
In a statement, 21st Century Fox said: “This matter is not yet resolved and the review is not concluded.”
The New York story published online Monday says that the initial findings of the sexual-harassment probe into Ailes being done for 21 Century Fox has become a broader inquiry into Ailes’ management style.
The probe was launched in response to a lawsuit by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson charging that she was harassed and fired when she refused to sleep with Ailes. Ailes has denied the charges, calling them false, defamatory and offensive. His legal team contends the matter should be resolved via confidential arbitration, as specified in Carlson’s contract with Fox News.
21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch wants to give Ailes a choice this week of resigning or being fired, while 21st Century Fox co-chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch think no action should be taken till after the Republican convention, according to the story.
According to the story, the Murdochs have been conferring on the matter at the offices of law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison because they are concerned that the Fox offices could be bugged.
Ailes, 76, built Fox News from scratch and after 20 years it dominates the ratings among cable news channels and generates more than $1 billion in profits for 21st Century Fox annually. It operates independently from the company’s other broadcast and cable networks. It was unclear who would run Fox News after Ailes.
After the Carlson suit was filed, Sherman, who has authored a book on Ailes and Fox News, wrote a story citing several women who said they’d been treated inappropriately by Ailes.
Ailes’ lawyers responded, saying “the latest allegations, all 30 to 50 years old, are false.