Rabat - In a corporate plummet heard around the world, Fox News founder and former chairman, Roger Ailes, was forced to relinquish his position at the helm of the conservative network last year amid a sensational sexual harassment scandal. It was announced Thursday morning that the television giant has died at age 77.
Rabat – In a corporate plummet heard around the world, Fox News founder and former chairman, Roger Ailes, was forced to relinquish his position at the helm of the conservative network last year amid a sensational sexual harassment scandal. It was announced Thursday morning that the television giant has died at age 77.
Fox hosts struggled to remain their composure as they read a statement from Ailes’ wife, Elizabeth. She described her husband as a “patriot,” a “loving husband” and a “loyal friend.”
“He was… profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise- and to give back,” the statement read.
Under the leadership of Ailes, Fox became one of America’s most popular television networks, with a core audience that remains distinctly different from those of more traditional news rivals CNN and MSNBC. It has become synonymous with the American Christian right and Ailes himself became a critical presence in the US conservative political.
But there was a darker side to Ailes’ conservatism and that played out very publicly last year when former Fox host Gretchen Carlson launched an explosive multi-million-dollar lawsuit against him, citing sexual harassment. Carlson’s suit alleged that she had been fired from her high-profile position with Fox after she had rebuffed the mogul’s advances.
The floodgates opened on Ailes as dozens of women came forward with their own allegations of sexual misconduct against him, including another former Fox host, star Megyn Kelly. The Carlson lawsuit was settled for a reported USD $20 million and the embattled founder was forced to give up his position as chairman of Fox.
Though he had his detractors, Roger Ailes also counted some influential figures in his list of friends, one of them being none other than media titan Rupert Murdoch. On Thursday, he released a statement regarding his long-time confidante, saying that Ailes had played a “huge role in shaping American media.” He added that “Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have.”
Well-known Fox News host, Sean Hannity, also expressed high praise for Ailes saying “Today, America lost one of its great patriotic warriors. He has changed dramatically and forever the political and the media landscape, single-handedly for the better.”
The cause of Ailes’ death has not yet been disclosed.