Roger Ailes Resigns As CEO Of Fox News Amid Harassment Probe

Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News, speaks during the Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif., Monday, July 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Roger Ailes, who built Fox News into a cable news powerhouse, resigned Thursday amid swirling allegations of sexual harassment.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch will be chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Business after Ailes’ resignation, which a press release from parent company 21st Century Fox announced was effective today.

“Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country. Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years,” Murdoch said in a statement.

In announcing the news, the statement makes no mention of the allegations around Ailes, but praised his role in founding the network and making it a hub for millions of conservative viewers.

After media reports earlier this week that Ailes was already out, it was reported that Ailes was planning an exit but negotiations with 21st Century were stalled out over whether Ailes would accept responsibility for “errors in judgement.”

The news comes just two weeks after former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes for years of alleged sexual harassment and workplace retaliation. Carlson alleges that after marginalizing her role at the network because she rebuffed his sexual advances, Ailes put out an order that her contract not be renewed.

Through representatives, Ailes has strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

After Carlson’s lawsuit, the company opened a probe into Ailes’ conduct. After reviewing the early findings, Murdoch and his sons were reportedly in agreement that Ailes had to go. Citing anonymous sources, it was also reported this week that Fox News megastar Megyn Kelly told investigators that Ailes sexually harassed her when she was a young correspondent with the network.

Ailes’ exit has prompted concern about the network’s future. Three bedrock Fox News personalities, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannit, and Greta Van Susteren, each reportedly have clauses in their contracts that would allow them to leave with Ailes gone.

This post has been updated.