MURDOCH USHERS AILES TOWARDS THE FOX NEWS EXIT AMID HARASSMENT SUIT
Roger Ailes is heading for the exit at Fox News Channel, the influential cable network beloved by American conservatives, with Rupert Murdoch and his sons in agreement that he should leave amid allegations of sexual harassment. The timing of the departure of the man who turned Fox News into a media and political powerhouse is unclear. Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, the channel’s parent, and his older son, and cochair, Lachlan would prefer to wait until after this week’s Republican convention, two people briefed on the matter told the Financial Times. James Murdoch, Mr Murdoch’s younger son - and the 21st Century Fox chief executive - is pushing for Mr Ailes to go as soon as possible, they said. But the likely departure of Mr Ailes could present a problem for the Murdochs. Three of Fox News’ biggest stars - Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren - have clauses in their contracts that would allow them to depart if Mr Ailes were to leave, the people briefed on the dispute said. Mr Ailes has told associates he is furious at his treatment by the Murdochs. 21st Century Fox opened an internal investigation on July 6 after former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit alleging he fired her for refusing to have a sexual relationship with him. Mr Ailes has denied Ms Carlson’s claims and pushed to move the case into confidential arbitration. The company said this week that the investigation was “not yet resolved”. New York magazine reported yesterday that Megyn Kelly, arguably Fox News’ biggest star, told the investigation that Mr Ailes had sexually harassed her a decade ago. 21st Century Fox declined to comment.