Sexual Harassment Allegations May Bring Down Fox News Executive

Rupert Murdoch and his two sons have reportedly decided to remove Roger Ailes from his position as CEO at Fox News according to New York Magazine.

This decision comes in the midst of an internal sexual harassment investigation of Ailes which started once former Fox host Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual-harrasment lawsuit against Ailes. The investigation has since expanded to cover a wide range of complaints about Ailes’ management style at Fox News. This includes the possibility that Ailes is pressuring his employees, including Fox Business anchor Neil Cavuto, into defending him on air and in print media, including Cavuto’s op-ed for Business Insider last week.

“Take it from a guy with an illness,” Cavuto, recovering from open-heart surgery, wrote, “These accusations that don’t remotely resemble the Roger that I know — that WE know — are just … sick.”

James Murdoch is reportedly arguing that Ailes should either be forced to resign or terminated immediately. His father as well as his brother Lachlan are more of the mind that no action should be taken until after the Republican National Convention this week, as the event is a huge draw for the news network. All three Murdochs are reportedly of agreement that Ailes needs to go at some point.

Since Carlson filed her suit, six more women have stepped forward claiming that Ailes sexually harassed them and moved to damage their careers upon their refusal of his advances, reported New York Magazine. The accusations go back more than 50 years, and all involve Ailes making sexual advances towards women with the offer of career advancement on the table. Several of the women claim their careers suffered from being blacklisted by Ailes following the incidents. One of the women was sixteen at the time.

Ailes had signed a multi-year contract extension just last year, and there is no clear succession plan in place. Ailes has run Fox News since its inception in 1996, and Forbes speculates that if his position is not split into multiple roles, the new CEO of Fox News will be a promoition from within. Forbes tabbed Fox News’ senior executive Vice President Bill Shine, or Jay Wallace, an executive vice president, as the most likely candidates. Both have been with Fox News since it first launched in 1996.

Anders Koskinen