Roger Ailes has signed a new multi-year contract with 21st Century Fox that will see him continuing in his role as chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Business Network, as well as chairman of Fox Television Stations.
The company did not say how long the extension was for, but the new pact comes amidst speculation that Ailes would be unhappy working under Lachlan and James Murdoch. The Murdoch brothers are taking the reins of power from Rupert Murdoch, with James named as chief executive of the company and Lachlan getting upped to executive chairman alongside his father. The leadership transition takes place on July 1.
Shortly after news of the succession leaked on June 11, Ailes told Variety in an interview that he would continue reporting to Rupert Murdoch. A release announcing the contract pointedly says that Ailes will report to Rupert, James and Lachlan Murdoch.
Ailes’ contract expired in 2016, and there was concern in Wall Street circles that he would not renew because of his past clashes with the Murdoch sons. He is seen as an essential component of the Fox empire, having pushed Fox News to the top of the cable news heap, while fashioning Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly into network stars. The new deal will keep him at Fox through the presidential election and beyond, according to insiders.
“Roger is an incredibly talented executive and we’re pleased he has accepted our offer to continue his extraordinary record of success at 21st Century Fox,” Lachlan and James Murdoch said in a joint statement. “We look forward to witnessing his energy and entrepreneurial drive in leading the next wave of growth for Fox News, Fox Business Network and Fox Television Stations, as well as many years of continued success together.”
Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled Megyn Kelly’s first name.