Fox News boss Ailes quits, Rupert Murdoch takes reins

The Murdochs are said to have delivered the ultimatum with a $US40 million payoff.

Fox News boss Roger Ailes has resigned and he will be replaced in a temporary capacity by 21st Century Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch. 

Mr Ailes has been under investigation by a top law firm after former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

Earlier reports said Mr Ailes had been given an ultimatum from Mr Murdoch and his two sons, Lachlan and James, to resign by August 1 or face the sack.

These reports also said Mr Ailes had been accused of harassment by another anchor, Megyn Kelly, who is famous for her stoush with Donald Trump at the first of the televised debates during the Republican primary campaign.

Ms Kelly’s profile has since risen further, including a cover story in Vanity Fair magazine.

She is reported to have told the top law firm investigating the case that Mr Ailes, 76, made unwanted sexual advances toward her about 10 years ago.

Ms Kelly has not been one of the Fox personalities who have come out in support of Mr Ailes since the case was made public. Media commentator and author Michael Wolff, who has written a biography of Rupert Murdoch, has filed this report on Mr Ailes

Complaints from some 20 women are said to have surfaced during the investigation, which also includes the period before Mr Ailes launched Fox News 20 years ago.

The Drudge Report posted, then deleted, a scan of a page saying Mr Aisles would receive $US40 million in a separation agreement and release. The status of this document is unknown.

Until June 23, when Fox didn’t renew Ms Carlson’s contract, she fronted The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson. The show, under the title The Real Show, has continued with other presenters.

Ms Carlson, a former beauty pageant winner, co-hosted Fox & Friends with Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade from 2005-13.

On July 6, she filed a complaint against Mr Ailes that alleged years of inappropriate sexual advances, comments and retaliation.

Get full access to the NBR Rich List 2016, released July 28, by claiming your free 30-day trial to NBR ONLINE premium content at NBR.co.nz/free