Fox News has just confirmed to The Daily Beast’s editor-at-large Lloyd Grove that chairman and CEO Roger Ailes will depart the cable news network as a result of a sexual harassment lawsuit by former anchor Gretchen Carlson.
According to reports, Ailes will receive at least a $40 million buyout from the network.
The news comes on the heels of another high profile female anchor at Fox, Megyn Kelly, reportedly telling investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances directed towards her about ten years ago “when she was a young correspondent at Fox.”
Kelly’s comments to investigators are a good indicator as to why Rupert Murdoch and his family moved so quick to dump Ailes.
From New York Magazine:
As New York reported yesterday, Rupert and sons James and Lachlan, the three top executives at 21st Century Fox, have, according to multiple sources, decided that Ailes needs to be removed.
Kelly, who has become something of a feminist icon thanks to her tangles with GOP nominee Donald Trump, is seen by many inside Fox as the future of the network. She’s currently in contract negotiations, and given that Bill O’Reilly has said he’s considering retirement, Fox can’t afford to lose her.
Sources originally reported that lawyers for 21st Century Fox gave Ailes a deadline of August 1 to resign or face being fired. It’s clear that something or someone, most likely Kelly, sped up that process.