The resignation follows a lawsuit alleging that Ailes sexually harassed Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox anchor. (Ailes claimed that the suit was retaliation for Fox’s decision not to renew Carlson’s contract.) There are reports that an internal investigation uncovered further harassment allegations from other women.
Matt Drudge tweeted two days ago that Ailes was out with a $40 million severance package, though Drudge later deleted the tweet, and Fox said at the time that Ailes was still “at work.”
The official announcement doesn’t discuss any of that. Instead, it just says that 21st Century Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch is taking on the role of chairman and acting CEO at Fox News.
“I am personally committed to ensuring that Fox News remains a distinctive, powerful voice,” Murdoch said. “Our nation needs a robust Fox News to resonate from every corner of the country.”
Ailes co-founded Fox News in 1996 and is widely credited (if that’s the word) for shaping its conservative outlook and bombastic coverage style.