Roger Ailes' Death Has Sparked a Flurry of Mixed Reactions

Olive Rios
May 23, 2017

Ailes, she said, "was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many".

Fox News confirmed his death this morning.

Fox News' on-air talent took to Twitter to mourn Ailes.

Fox News has been in tumult since Ailes was sacked in July after former on-air personality Gretchen Carlson sued him, claiming she was subjected to years of sexual harassment from the former powerful chairman of Fox News.

Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman for 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, called Ailes a "great patriot" and said everyone at the news channel is "shocked and grieved" by his death.

Ailes received a severance package of about $40 million when he left Fox News, owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, according to a source familiar with the situation. "He has dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape single-handedly for the better".

Trump "sort of represents Roger Ailes' legacy of 50 years of using television to advance a style - a populist style of conservative politics", journalist and author Gabriel Sherman told NPR's Terry Gross last summer. On Thursday, the network initially announced his death by citing the Drudge Report, which had published a statement from Ailes' wife, Elizabeth.

Ailes was born in Warren, Ohio, and studied radio and television production at Ohio University, according to Fox News.

On May 10 at 1:49 p.m. local time, a call to the Palm Beach Police Department indicated Ailes had accidentally fallen and injured his head.

A former GOP operative to candidates including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and a one-time adviser to President Donald Trump, Ailes displayed a mastery of modern messaging early in his career.

"Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have", he added.

A long-time confidant of media titan Rupert Murdoch, the Fox co-founder was seen as a central figure in the conservative United States political movement, who stood down at Fox in July previous year after a sexual harassment lawsuit from former news host Gretchen Carlson.

Federal investigators recently had widened their investigation to examine Ailes' activities when he was the powerful chairman of Fox News. The network eventually unseated CNN as the highest-rated cable news network and became one of the most popular cable networks of all genres, reaching more than 90 million households.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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