Gabriel Sherman writes that a preliminary report by the law firm commissioned by 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, to investigate the sexual harassment charges brought by Gretchen Carlson against For News head Roger Ailes has been issued, and on the basis of that report the decision has been made to ease Ailes out his job, the only remaining question being when.
Roger Ailes’s tenure as the head of Fox News may be coming to an end. Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James — co-chairmen and CEO, respectively, of parent company 21st Century Fox — have settled on removing the 76-year-old executive, say two sources briefed on a sexual-harassment investigation of Ailes being conducted by New York law firm Paul, Weiss. After reviewing the initial findings of the probe, James Murdoch is said to be arguing that Ailes should be presented with a choice this week to resign or face being fired. Lachlan is more aligned with their father, who thinks that no action should be taken until after the GOP convention this week. Another source confirms that all three are in agreement that Ailes needs to go.
While Sherman has good inside sources, Ailes is also a tough fighter and he may find a way to weather this controversy and remain. The Murdochs are well aware that it is Ailes who has made Fox News into a money making machine and the Murdochs love money more than anything else.
If Ailes loses the fight and has to go, the fact that he is 76 years old and in poor health may provide a face-saving way out.