Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Fox News Channel founder Roger Ailes dies aged 77

Roger Ailes, who transformed TV news by creating the Fox News Channel only to be ousted at the height of his reign for alleged sexual harassment, has died at the age of 77.

A former Republican party operative to candidates including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush, Mr Ailes later turned his media savvy towards running TV networks.

In early 1996 he accepted a challenge from media mogul Rupert Murdoch to build a news network from scratch to compete with CNN.

That October, Mr Ailes flipped the switch on the Fox News Channel, which went on to become the audience leader in US cable news.

It also emerged as a powerful force on the political scene, with Mr Ailes dismissing criticism that the network he branded as "fair and balanced" had a conservative bias.

He was abruptly dismissed from Fox News in July 2016 in the wake of a lawsuit filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson accusing him of sexual improprieties.

Fox News executive chairman Rupert Murdoch said he was "shocked and grieved" by Mr Ailes' passing.

"A brilliant broadcaster, Roger played a huge role in shaping America's media over the last 30 years," Mr Murdoch said.

"He will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera that he discovered, nurtured and promoted.

"Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no-one else could have. In addition, Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs."


From Belfast Telegraph