Roger Ailes, the chairman and CEO of Fox News, could be fired from his position amid allegations of sexual harassment, according to an exclusive report from New York magazine.
The report says News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James will move to remove Ailes, 76, by either firing him or forcing him to resign, sources told the magazine’s Gabriel Sherman.
Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson recently filed a lawsuit against Ailes, saying he harassed her for years. She claims he eventually fired her after she rejected his advances.
The Murdochs’ decision comes after they reviewed the initial findings from Carlon’s sexual harassment allegations, according to Sherman’s report. A New York City law firm is conducting the investigation into Ailes, but it broadened into an inquiry into Ailes’ general management style, two sources told Sherman.
The report says James Murdoch wants to give Ailes the option to resign or face being removed this week. However, Lachlan and Rupert Murdoch want to push off taking action against him until after the Republican National Convention this week. Another source told Sherman that the three Murdochs agree Ailes should be removed.
Carlson named Ailes as the sole defendant in a July 6 court filing. Carlson claims he made “sexually-charged comments,” ones that ranged “from from lewd innuendo, ogling and remarks about Ms. Carlson’s body to demands for sex as a way for her to improve her job standing,” the court papers read. “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better,” adding that “sometimes problems are easier to solve that way,” Ailes allegedly said, according to Carlson’s lawyers in the filing.
A number of Fox employees have publicly defended Ailes. Fox News anchor Sandra Smith dismissed that Ailes told female employees how to dress, reported The Hollywood Reporter.
“Amazing, a television executive who cares what his television screen looks like,” Smith said, adding that she’s “never been instructed on the length of my skirt or the color of my lipstick.”
Fox News hosts Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Ainsley Earhardt also defended Ailes, with Earhardt saying he’s “a man with a really good heart,” “a family man,” and “a father figure,” reported People magazine.
Hasselbeck said in a statement that working for Ailes is “by far the most rewarding time in [her] 16-year broadcasting career,” reported ETOnline.com.