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:
21CF statement: Roger is at work. The review is ongoing. The only agreement that is in place is his existing employment agreement.— 21st Century Fox (@21CF) July 19, 2016
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:
DRUDGE just deleted this tweet with the Ailes/Fox terms of separation agreement pic.twitter.com/usn4ZoIPOn— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) July 19, 2016
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.
The Paul, Weiss investigators have evidence that Ailes kissed Fox News women in his Fox office, sources say.— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) July 19, 2016
Right now negotiations have broken down over language in press release. 21CF wants Ailes to "accept responsibility for errors in judgement."— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) July 19, 2016
21CF sources say Rupert wants to pay Ailes out, Lachlan/James want him fired for cause. But sons aren't resisting, just want Ailes gone— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) July 19, 2016
Some expectations setting: Sources say 21CF-Ailes negotiations could drag on this week as both sides fight over press release language— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) July 19, 2016
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.