NEW YORK - Roger Ailes resigned Thursday as chairman of Fox News, Fox Business and Fox television stations, effective immediately, in the wake of a sexual harassment lawsuit that led to days of negotiations about his departure.
Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of parent company 21st Century Fox, who hired Ailes to launch Fox News two decades ago, said in a company statement that he would take over as chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.
“Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country,” Murdoch said in the statement. “Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years.” He added that Fox has “given voice to those who have been ignored by the traditional networks.”
The statement made no direct reference to the circumstances that led to the departure of Ailes. But it included comments from the media mogul’s sons, Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch, who occupy top positions at 21st Century Fox, saying that “we continue our commitment to maintaining a work environment based on trust and respect. We take seriously our responsibility to uphold these traditional, long-standing values of our company.”