Rupert Murdoch takes direct control of Fox News after chairman Ailes is forced out


Fox News chairman Roger Ailes has been forced out of the company after facing allegations that he sexually harassed junior colleagues, including presenters Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly.

Rupert Murdoch will now personally take on the role of acting chairman and chief executive of the cable news channel and the Fox Business Network. Murdoch, chairman of the parent company 21st Century Fox, cut short a holiday in France to return to New York and handle the departure of Ailes, The Guardian reported.

A leaked copy of a "separation agreement" released on Tuesday by news aggregator the Drudge Report stated that Ailes would remain a consultant to the network for at least two years, and was set to receive $40m in severance pay.

Reports had suggested that the Murdoch family had told Ailes to leave, and that if he did not do so voluntarily by the start of August, he would be fired.

Carlson filed a lawsuit earlier this month alleging that Ailes had subjected her to "severe and pervasive sexual harassment", and that when she had refused to have sex with him, he had reassigned her to a different slot, cut her pay, and then fired her.

A statement released by Carlson's lawyers yesterday said: "Within just two weeks of her filing a lawsuit against Roger Ailes, Gretchen Carlson’s extraordinary courage has caused a seismic shift in the media world.

"We hope that all businesses now understand that women will no longer tolerate sexual harassment and reputable companies will no longer shield those who abuse women. We thank all the brave women who spoke out about this issue. We will have more to say in coming days as events unfold."

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