After word of the brothers’ ascension surfaced late last week, there was immediate speculation that Ailes would continue to report to chairman Rupert Murdoch. Fox Business Network reported on June 11 that the boss would continue to have a direct line to Rupert. Ailes himself told Variety: “My job is to report to Rupert, and I expect that to continue.”
But on Tuesday, following the formal announcement of the brothers’ appointments, Fox reps confirmed that Ailes along with every other aspect of the company would report in to Lachlan and James jointly. However a source stressed that Ailes would “continue his unique and longstanding relationship with Rupert.”
The question arose because it’s no secret that Ailes butted heads with Lachlan more than a decade ago when Murdoch oversaw the Fox Television Stations group, which Ailes still runs. Rupert Murdoch’s failure to side with his son was believed to be a key reason Lachlan quit his post as deputy chief operating officer in 2005.
Ailes has been the architect of Fox News’ success on cable since he joined the Murdoch fold in 1996 from NBC. His contract runs through next summer.