Roger Ailes, founder of Fox News, has resigned from his position as CEO and Chairman of the network, as more women are reportedly disclosing that they were sexually harassed by him. Rupert Murdoch, a longtime supporter of Ailes who profited richly off of Fox News' success, said, "Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country. Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years."

Murdoch also announced that he was taking over as Chairman of Fox News (and the Fox Business Network) and would also become the acting CEO: "I am personally committed to ensuring that Fox News remains a distinctive, powerful voice. Our nation needs a robust Fox News to resonate from every corner of the country."

A little more than two weeks ago, former Fox News personality Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes, claiming that he fired her after she refused to sleep with him. He allegedly told her, "I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better." She also said that Ailes and her Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy engaged in discriminatory behavior.

While Ailes emphatically denied the charges, claiming that Carlson was fired because her show was doing poorly (Carlson says she was switched to a less-desirable timeslot and not given any marketing support because she rebuffed him), the network's parent company 21st Century Fox said that they would open up a review.

During the course of the internal investigation from the law firm Paul, Weiss, Fox News' brightest star, Megyn Kelly, allegedly said that Ailes came onto her. And after Kelly's admission surfaced, Ailes' exit seemed more likely and, the NY Times reports, "it appeared to embolden other women to discuss their own experiences at the network. Several spoke with reporters on condition that they not be named. In interviews, several current and former Fox News employees said inappropriate comments about a woman’s appearance and her sex life were frequent in the newsroom."

In an interview with New York magazine, women who do not work at Fox News described horrifying run-ins with Ailes during his career in broadcasting: "He reclined on a couch in a seating area under a map that had flags of all the cities they were syndicated in. He proceeded to pull down his pants and very gingerly pull out his genitals and said, 'Kiss them.'"

Ailes issued a statement that doesn't mention the lawsuit:

Dear Rupert,

With your support, I am proud that we have built Fox News and Fox Business Channels into powerful and lucrative news organizations that inform our audience and reward our shareholders. I take particular pride in the role that I have played advancing the careers of the many women I have promoted to executive and on-air positions. Many of these talented journalists have deservedly become household names known for their intelligence and strength, whether reporting the news, fair and balanced, and offering exciting opinions on our opinion programs. . Fox News has become Number 1 in all of cable because I consistently identified and promoted the most talented men and women in television, and they performed at the highest levels.

Having spent 20 years building this historic business, 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. I am confident that everyone at Fox News and Fox Business will continue as the standard setters that they are, and that the businesses are well positioned for even greater success in the future.

I am proud of our accomplishments and look forward to continuing to work with you as a consultant in building 21st Century Fox

All the best,


Murdoch's sons, Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch, who are 21st Century Fox's Executive Chairman and CEO, said, "We join our father in recognizing Roger’s remarkable contributions to our company. Our talented Fox News and Fox Business colleagues, up and down the organization and on both sides of the camera, have built something that continues to redefine the cable news experience for millions of viewers. We are enormously proud of their accomplishments. For them, as well as for our colleagues across our entire organization, we continue our commitment to maintaining a work environment based on trust and respect. We take seriously our responsibility to uphold these traditional, long-standing values of our company."