Roger Eugene Ailes is an American TV executive. He resigned from his post as the CEO and Chairman of Fox News and the Fox News Television Stations Group over allegations of harassment. He is also the founder of Fox News. He had previously worked as a media consultant for GOP presidents Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and George H. W. Bush.
Ailes attracted controversy after being sued by former Fox News employee Gretchen Carlson for sexual harassment. The lawsuit, filed on 6th July 2016, alleges that she was meted out unfair and discriminatory treatment in the newsroom due to her gender. It also states that her refusal of the sexual and physical advances by Aides led to her getting fired from her popular program as well as the subsequent non-renewal of her Fox News contract.
Early Life and Education
Roger Ailes was born on 15th May 1940 to factory maintenance foreman Robert Eugene Ailes and Donna Marie in Warren, Ohio. His father was very abusive; this led to divorce of his parents in 1960. Roger was hospitalized many times as a kid as he has hemophilia. He attended Warren High School. In 1962, he got his bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in Athens with a major in radio and TV.
Ailes began his career in TV as a Property Assistant and later as a Producer. From 1967 to 68, he was the Executive Producer of local show ‘The Mike Douglas Show.’ He continued working as executive producer when the show was nationally syndicated. Ailes won a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for the show in 1968.
In 1967, after a discussion with Richard Nixon (a guest on his show) he was invited by Nixon to work as his TV Executive Producer. This was his entry into political spotlight and he continued working to frame national campaign issues for Nixon eventually helping him win the White House. He stopped this line of work in 1991.
In 1996, Ailes was appointed as the founding CEO of newly formed Fox News channel. In August 2005, he became the Chairman of Fox Television Stations Group.
How Fox News became the most-watched news channel in the US
Ailes spearheaded the growth of the Fox brand making it worth more than $15 billion. The channel now contributes close to 20 percent of the profits for 21st Century Fox. Since 2002, Fox News has overtaken CNN as the most watched news channel. It is also the most watched prime-time network.While other channels like CNN get fees in the form of 30 to 60 cents per month per subscriber every month, Fox News earns more than $1 per user every month. It generates the maximum revenue for advertising dollars and affiliate fees more than any other media network.
Roger Ailes – Wife and Children
- Ailes married former TV executive Elizabeth Tilson on 14th February 1998. The couple has one son and the family lives in Garrison, New York. Tilson is now a homemaker and ‘The Putnam County News and Recorder’s’ titular publisher.
- Roger is good friends with Barbara Walters, media personality and journalist.
- Besides the Carlson lawsuit, many others have also alleged of sexual misconduct by Ailes. As per Gabriel Sherman biography, Randi Harrison was offered a raise by Ailes if she slept with him.
- Ailes donated a significant amount to Ohio University in 2007 for renovation of the student newsroom.
- Ailes and aide Jon Kraushar wrote a book “You Are the Message: Secrets of the Master Communicators” in 1988.
- He also wrote an autobiography called ‘Roger Ailes – Off Camera’ in which he said that he said that he was preparing for death all his life, because of hemophilia. He added, “When it comes, I will be calm. I will miss life, especially my family.’
Roger Ailes – Net worth and Salary
The net worth of Ailes is estimated to be around $75 million. As per 2012, his base salary was reported to be around $7 million with the full yearly compensation totaling to around $21 million plus incentives and perks. It is rumored that the salary package of Ailes after new contract will reportedly be around $35 million per year.
Roger Ailes passed away on May 18, 2017 at his Palm Beach Home, the reason attributed was subdural hematoma, caused by hemophilia.