clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Roger Ailes is reportedly out at Fox News and will be taking $40 million of Rupert Murdoch’s money with him

The Drudge Report broke the news.

Roger Ailes at a 2012 Hollywood Reporter event
Roger Ailes at a Hollywood Reporter event
Stephen Lovekin / Getty

That was fast. The Drudge Report reported that Fox News chief Roger Ailes has left Fox News, and NPR’s David Folkenflik has confirmed the news.

A spokesman for 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, did not immediately respond to a phone call, but the company denied the reports on Twitter and in an email to Recode:

On Monday, New York’s Gabriel Sherman wrote that Ailes was going to be fired as a result of sexual harassment allegations brought by ex-Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson and other women in and outside of the company. The only question was about the timing of Ailes’s exit.

Then on Tuesday morning, Sherman reported that Fox News star Megyn Kelly told internal investigators that Ailes had sexually harassed her in the past.

A few hours later, the Drudge Report said that Ailes was officially gone, and Matt Drudge tweeted out a picture of what appeared to be a copy of Ailes’s separation agreement, identifying Ailes as “RA.”

The document says the 76-year-old exec will be taking at least $40 million with him, lifetime health insurance and six more months of the infamous security detail he’s known for having around. He will also be indemnified for legal claims against him, such as the Carlson suit.

Drudge quickly deleted the tweet with the separation agreement, which is the kind of thing that he’s known for doing, often without explanation. Here’s a copy:

Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, the Financial Times reported that Fox News leadership is worried that some of their biggest talent, including Bill O’Reilly, would leave the network in the event that Ailes was pushed out.

Ailes, who helped launch Fox News in the mid-1990s, has been warring more and more with the sons and heirs apparent of Rupert Murdoch (who owns Fox News) over the last few years. The Carlson and Kelly allegations, in addition to the weak business of cable TV networks in general, finally gave the younger Murdochs (Lachlan and James) the ammunition they needed to get rid of Ailes.

Update: According to Gabriel Sherman, the exit negotiations have been messy, and at this point hinge on the language of the press release.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.