The man who made US broadcaster Fox News into the conservative media juggernaut it is today has died. Roger Ailes had previously stepped down from the network following a sweeping sexual harassment scandal.
Fox News hosts struggled to hold back tears Thursday as they announced the death of the company's ex-chief on live television. He was 77.
Roger Ailes was ousted from the company back in July 2016 after a sexual harassment scandal erupted in connection with one of the network's most famous hosts, Gretchen Carlson.
After leaving the company in June when her contract wasn't renewed, Carlson went public with allegations that Ailes had made unwanted sexual advances toward her. She also described a toxic atmosphere in which women often suffered "disparaging treatment" in the newsroom. She filed a lawsuit against Ailes in early July.
Fall from grace
Two weeks later, Ailes stepped down from his position as both CEO and chairman of the company, a startling turn of events for the man who founded Fox News in 1996 and rose to become one of the most powerful men in American journalism.
Ailes' fall from grace was just one of a series of similar scandals plaguing the network. In April 2017, The New York Times published a bombshell report detailing how Fox News and its most famous host, Bill O'Reilly, had settled five lawsuits against O'Reilly dating back more than a decade. Following a growing backlash, O'Reilly announced later that month that he would not be returning to the network.
blc/rt (Reuters, dpa, AFP)