Thursday, February 22, 2024

Exclusive: Roger Ailes is Ailing, Megyn Kelly and Murdoch Brothers Make Final Move on Fox News Chief

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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.

Stay tuned…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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