The president of Fox News, Roger Ailes, resigned as the network’s chief after a number of female employees accused him of sexual harassment.The network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, announced his resignation on Thursday.
“Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country. Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organisation and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years,” Rupert Murdoch, who will take over immediately as chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, said in a communique.
Ailes’ resignation comes weeks after he was accused by former Fox 5 reporter Gretchen Carlson of having taken reprisals against her, including reducing her salary, after she refused to have sexual relations with him, EFE news reported.
In addition to the complaint presented by Carlson, this week Fox News channel anchor Megyn Kelly, who on July 12 said she had also been the victim of “unwanted sexual advances” by Ailes approximately 10 years ago.
After this latest revelation, 21st Century Fox launched an internal investigation and Ailes received an ultimatum from the corporate lawyers to resign before August 1 or be fired for justifiable cause.
Murdoch made no reference to these accusations or to the alleged ultimatum presented by the company to Ailes in the statement released on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Ailes, 76 and the network’s CEO since 1996, said in a communique sent to channel WNBC that Fox had become the No. 1 television network “because I consistently identified and promoted the most talented men and women in television, and they performed at the highest levels.”
“I will not allow my presence to become a distraction from the work that must be done every day to ensure that Fox News and Fox Business continue to lead our industry,” he said.
The severance terms agreed to between Fox and Ailes were not disclosed.