21st Century Fox keeps Roger Ailes in role

GMT 15:29 2015 Thursday ,25 June

Arab Today, arab today 21st Century Fox keeps Roger Ailes in role

Roger Ailes
Washington - AFP

The Murdoch family's 21st Century Fox conglomerate said Thursday that Roger Ailes had extended his contract as the head of Fox News and Fox Television Stations.

The future of Ailes, a longtime Republican media guru who advised former presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, had been uncertain under a shakeup plan in which founder Rupert Murdoch is ceding much of his authority to his sons James and Lachlan.

Rupert Murdoch, who steps aside as chief executive of the parent group July 1 to make way for his son James, said Ailes has played a key role in the growth of the television assets.

"Nearly two decades ago, Roger took a bold idea rooted in the belief that there was room for more choice in cable news, and -- much to all the naysayers' surprise -- through his development of vibrant programming and talent, created a behemoth of a business with one of the most passionate and engaged audiences in the history of television news," Rupert Murdoch said in a statement.

"Roger and I have always had, and will continue to have, a special relationship. Lachlan, James and I are delighted that Roger will be leading key businesses for us and our shareholders for years to come, and he has our unwavering support."

Since joining the company in 1996, Ailes has overseen the launch and operation of the Fox News Channel, which has overtaken CNN as the most-watched US cable news channel.

Ailes previously headed the business news channel CNBC, which is part of the rival NBC network.

Earlier this month, the media-entertainment conglomerate's board approved a plan in which the 84-year-old Australian-born magnate would step down as CEO and become co-executive chairman with his other son, Lachlan.

The succession plan allows Rupert Murdoch to ease out of the day-to-day management of the group, with his sons sharing many of those tasks.

James Murdoch, 42, will hold the CEO job at the group, which owns the Fox studios in Hollywood, and Fox's television operations in the US and around the world.

Some analysts had speculated that Ailes would report directly to Rupert Murdoch and that he had a less favorable relationship with the two Murdoch sons.

Ailes will also continue to head the Fox Business Network as part of his duties.


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