Report: The Murdochs Are Planning To Ax Roger Ailes After Harassment Suit

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July 18, 2016 1:19 p.m.
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Embattled Fox News CEO Roger Ailes’ days could be numbered, with New York Magazine reporting Monday that the Murdoch family has decided to remove Ailes from his post amid swirling allegations of sexual harassment.

Anonymous sources told the magazine that conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch, joined by his sons Lachlan and James, both executives with Fox’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, have decided it’s time to ax Ailes.

According to Gabriel Sherman’s report, the Murdochs’ decision comes after reviewing the initial findings from a sexual harassment probe of Ailes being conducted by a New York City law firm. The investigation sparked by fired Fox News host Gretchen Carlson filing a sexual harassment lawsuit has ballooned into a sweeping inquiry into Ailes’ management, two sources briefed on the investigation said.

James Murdoch wants to present Ailes this week with the option to either resign or face being removed, while Lachlan and Rupert Murdoch reportedly favor pushing off any action until after the Republican National Convention, which opened Monday in Cleveland. Another anonymous source told Sherman all three Murdochs agree that Ailes needs to be fired.

Carlson filed the suit, which names Ailes as the sole defendant, July 6 in New Jersey court. She alleges that Ailes for years retaliated against her for rebuffing his sexual advances before eventually putting out word her contract was not to be renewed, effectively firing her.

In a statement to CNN, 21st Century Fox said about Ailes’ possible removal: “This matter is not yet resolved and the review is not concluded.”

A Fox News spokeswoman did not immediately respond Monday afternoon to a request for comment from TPM.

This post has been updated.

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