ROGER AILES, the former head of FOX NEWS and longtime television producer and Republican political campaign consultant, has died at the age of 77, his family has announced. AILES left FOX last year in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment; he founded FOX NEWS as CEO in 1996 after a long career that ranged from producing “THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW” at KYW-TV in CLEVELAND and then PHILADELPHIA to work on campaigns for RICHARD NIXON, RONALD REAGAN, and GEORGE H.W. BUSH, and most recently advising DONALD TRUMP’s campaign.
A statement from his wife ELIZABETH said, “I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, ROGER AILES, passed away this morning. ROGER was a loving husband to me, to his son ZACHARY, and a loyal friend to many.”
AILES started his career in 1962 at WESTINGHOUSE NBC affiliate KYW-TV/CLEVELAND working on “THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW,” and moved with the station to PHILADELPHIA when a earlier NBC-WESTINGHOUSE station swap was reversed by the FCC. He left to serve on NIXON’s successful 1968 presidential campaign as Executive Producer for Television and became a prominent political consultant, with success on the REAGAN and BUSH campaigns. In television, AILES ran NBC’s CNBC business news cable network and created the short-lived AMERICA’S TALKING cable talk show channel (which eventually gave way to MSNBC) before joining FOX as the first CEO of FOX NEWS in 1996, adding duties as Chairman of the FOX TELEVISION STATIONS in 2005.
In recent years, AILES’ career at FOX came to an end amidst allegations and lawsuits charging sexual harassment, including a suit by anchor GRETCHEN CARLSON that the network later settled and allegations from several more women at the network, including the network’s most prominent female anchor, MEGYN KELLY, who subsequently left to join NBC. AILES denied the allegations. AILES resigned last JULY 21st and advised the TRUMP campaign.