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With all the controversy lately over FOX News CEO Roger Ailes and the women who've accused him of sexual harassment, many were wondering if he would keep his position at the network. Well, now we know the answer.
Parent company 21st Century Fox confirmed to CinemaBlend today that Roger Ailes has resigned from the company, effective immediately. Along with being the Chairman and CEO of FOX News, he was also the Chairman and CEO of the Fox Business Network, and the Chairman of Fox Television Stations. Ailes is being replaced by 21st Century Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch. In a statement, Murdoch thanked Ailes for his "remarkable contribution" to both the company and the country, and noted that he plans to ensure "that Fox News remains a distinctive, powerful voice."
Well, this doesn't really come as a huge surprise, although, obviously it is huge news. Roger Ailes had been at the forefront of news about his former channel lately since the firing of anchor Gretchen Carlson a couple of weeks ago. After being let go from the network, Carlson filed suit agains Ailes, claiming that he sexually harassed her during her tenure at FOX News, and that she had to repeatedly turn down his advances. Ailes denied the allegations, and stated that her firing was actually due to the sagging ratings of her show, which he said were starting to bring down ratings for the other afternoon FOX News shows.
In the wake of the harassment allegations, a lot of FOX News employees and personalities came out to defend Roger Ailes, including hosts Bill O'Reilly, Greta Van Susteren and Sean Hannity, who all said that they were prepared to leave FOX if Ailes was fired from his position. Unfortunately for Ailes, while he saw lots of support, he also saw additional detractors. Rumors have spread that when 21st Century Fox began looking into the harassment allegations, popular FOX News host Megyn Kelly admitted to investigators that she'd also been harassed by Ailes.
As recently as yesterday it was reported that talks for Roger Ailes' exit were already underway, and now it looks like that was indeed true. Sources said yesterday that a resignation from Ailes would leave him $40 million richer, and with so much heat on him, and his career, right now I can see where it might have seemed easier to just take the money and get out while the getting was good. Of course, after the Megyn Kelly allegations surfaced, there was also word that FOX was looking to fire Ailes if he didn't agree to resign, so at least giving the appearance of leaving on your own terms would beat the alternative.
Well, right now there's no word on whether or not FOX News will be losing some of its biggest names over Roger Ailes' resignation, but since he wasn't technically fired, they'd probably have a much harder time justifying that move. We'll keep you up to date on all the latest FOX News information as details become available.