Roger Ailes’ almost two-decade reign as chief executive officer at Fox News could be coming to an end.
Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James, who run parent company 21st Century Fox, reportedly will be removing the 76-year-old Ailes, who also serves as Fox News’ company chairman, from his top post at the network due to former “Fox & Friends” cohost Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment charges.
Carlson filed a suit earlier this month in New Jersey State Court that alleges the Fox News chairman and chief executive officer created a “discriminatory, hostile and harassing work environment,” which included “demands for sexual favors.”
Carlson, who also served as the host of “The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson,” claims in the suit that she rejected Ailes’ advances, which, she alleged, caused her termination from the network on June 23.
Following the charges, Ailes, via a Fox News representative, denied the allegations stating: “Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup. When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit. Ironically, Fox News provided her with more on-air opportunities over her 11-year tenure than any other employer in the industry, for which she thanked me in her recent book. This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.”
Carlson’s lawyers Nancy Erika Smith and Martin Hyman responded stating: “Ailes’ claim that Gretchen Carlson was terminated because of bad ratings is demonstrably false.”
Fox did not respond to requests seeking comment.