I worked at Fox News for 10 years, from 1999-2009. I heard a lot of things about Roger Ailes, and there were a lot of rumors in that building at 1211 Sixth Avenue. But systematic sexual harassment? If it was going on, it was kept very quiet.
Now New York Magazine’s intrepid Gabriel Sherman reports that Megyn Kelly, star of Fox News and Ailes’s most rising star, has accused Ailes of sexual harassment. She fessed up to the lawyers from Paul Weiss Rifkind, who are conducting the internal investigation against Ailes. Kelly has remained mum so far while the other women at Fox News have defended Ailes against Gretchen Carlson’s allegations.
The timing is perfect. James and Lachlan Murdoch want Ailes out. I’m told Roger is ailing by several people. He hasn’t been a presence since before Carlson filed her lawsuit. This is in the middle of a Republican Presidential convention. It’s like the Oscars for Fox News.
If– when— Ailes is ousted, who will take over? The betting is on Bill Shine. As one source says, “at least in the interim.” There was a big shakeup in April at Fox News, when Michael Clemente was demoted and Jay Wallace was promoted. John Moody, in and out of popularity, is not capable of running a news network. Shine, who’s been in charge of talent for years, would be the odds on favorite.
But again, what timing. Murdochs looking for a wedge, some leverage to finally oust Ailes. Kelly– who Ailes has been a public supporter of, particularly during the nasty period with Trump this year–speaks up to lawyers, who then leak the story so Ailes is completely finished. Mind blowing.