By Jerry A. Kane — Bio and Archives August 11, 2015
Rupert Murdoch handed over 21st Century Fox, the conglomerate behind Fox News, to sons James and Lachlan July 1, 2015. James is now CEO and Lachlan executive co-chairman. Last year Murdoch elevated his sons to prominent positions, James to co-COO and Lachlan to non-executive co-chairman, but the turnover of the conglomerate came sooner than expected.
For 15 years, Roger Ailes has enjoyed near total autonomy as head of Fox News, but Ailes’ sovereign rule ended abruptly with the move. A 21st Century Fox spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter from now on, “Roger will report to Lachlan and James.”
To say that Ailes and Murdoch’s son James have a strained relationship would be a bit of an understatement. James, whose wife once worked for the Clinton Foundation, is a rabid environmentalist who led the campaign to make News Corp a carbon-neutral company. Conversely, Ailes is a “fierce climate-change denier,” who allegedly has called James a “f@#$%!g dope” and “Fredo.”
Now that control of Fox News has been given to Murdoch’s sons Ailes’ fair and balanced reporting and conservative punditry will soon fall by the wayside.
Ailes was not notified of the management change in advance. Apparently, Murdoch has been convinced that Fox News will continue do well without Ailes at the helm. Last year Ailes took a leave of absence due to an illness, and the network’s ratings didn’t slide.