Fox News CEO Roger Ailes’ resignation – just two weeks after former anchor Gretchen Carlson accused him of sexual harassment in a lawsuit – sent shockwaves through the network he built into a conservative media empire.
Here are Fox News staffers’ public reactions to the news.
“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace praised Ailes’ as a boss and said he had already shed his tears.
Wallace told the Huffington Post:
I’ve never known a boss who transmitted a sense of mission, transmitted a sense of a team and a common purpose, more than Roger did. And the thing that’s different from any place I’ve ever worked is people feel a personal connection to Roger, and I think a lot of people feel a deep sense of personal loss.”
Fox News host Gerald Rivera tweeted:
Oh the grotesque unfairness of life
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) July 21, 2016
Brit Hume, a Fox News analyst and former anchor, tweeted the news was “heartbreaking.”
To people like myself who have worked with Roger Ailes at Fox News from the start, today’s announcement is heartbreaking.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) July 21, 2016
Host Greta Van Susteren stuck to tweeting the news but praised Rupert Murdoch’s handling of the situation.
“I will tell you, it was quite inspiring to all of us that Rupert Murdoch flew back and he’s taking over the helm and he made everyone feel really good. He’s not changing anything,” she said. “Change is always tough, but I think Rupert Murdoch coming back was a big deal for all of us.”
Fox News host Bret Baier said a conference call about the news, helmed by Murdoch, was “part funeral and part pep talk.”
“It is a sad day, but we have a lot of work to do tonight,” he told CNN.
He also confirmed that, like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, he has a contract clause that would allow him to leave as a result of Ailes’ departure. Wallace also has such a clause, but both hosts said they would not leave the network.
“I’m really happy at Fox,” Baier told Huffington Post. “And as long as things are going like they’re going, I think I couldn’t be happier.”
In Cleveland, the atmosphere was emotional among Fox staffers.
I spoke with Chris Wallace in Cleveland. “I shed my tears a couple days ago,” he said. Emotional atmosphere in Fox HQ here.
— Mike Grynbaum (@grynbaum) July 21, 2016
NPR’s David Fokenflik reported that one Fox host was “openly weeping” over the news.
Astounding how the inconceivable became the inevitable. Ailes’ star turning against him. A host openly weeping at thought of his departure.
— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) July 21, 2016