Fox founder Rupert Murdoch and his executive sons have decided to remove Roger Ailes as CEO of Fox News, largely because of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former network anchor, New York magazine reported Monday.
The report, citing unnamed sources, comes as Ailes, who has served as CEO since Fox News went on the air 20 years ago, is accused in a lawsuit filed by former newswoman Gretchen Carlson, who was released by the network last month.
Carlson claims in her lawsuit that Ailes essentially fired her, despite her program The Real Story’s position high in the ratings, because she repeatedly rebuffed his sexual advances for months.
“Ailes has unlawfully retaliated against Carlson and sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment,” the lawsuit states.
The suit claims Ailes also retaliated by cutting her salary and trimming her appearances on the network.
“Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract,” Ailes responded in an earlier statement.
New York reports Murdoch and his sons agree that Ailes needs to go, but vary on the details of his departure.
James Murdoch, the chief executive of FNC parent company 21st Century Fox, wants to give Ailes two choices this week — resign or be fired. Lachlan Murdoch and their father want to wait at least until after this week’s Republican National Convention to make a move.
A spokesperson for 21st Century Fox told Politico Monday that the matter has not yet been resolved.
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