In an announcement released today, 21st Century Fox announced that Roger Ailes has stepped down as the CEO. The statement read, "21st Century Fox today announced that Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, and Chairman of Fox Television Stations, has resigned from his role effective immediately."
It added, "Rupert Murdoch will assume the role of Chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network."
The Australian-born Murdoch serves as the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox. "It is always difficult to create a channel or a publication from the ground up and against seemingly entrenched monopolies," Murdoch said in the statement. "To lead a flourishing news channel, and to build Fox Business, Roger has defied the odds."
Ailes' departure came two weeks after one of Fox's top female anchors, Gretchen Carlson, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. In his resignation letter to Murdoch, according to the Drudge Report, Ailes said he no longer wanted to be a "distraction" at Fox. "I take particular pride in the role that I have played advancing the careers of the many women I have promoted to executive and on-air positions," the letter said.
Ailes will, however, continue working with Fox as a consultant.
Attorneys for Carlson said that accusations have come in from 20 women alleging sexual harassment against Ailes. Lawyers are suing Ailes in a New Jersey court for sexual harassment and retaliation, telling the Guardian US that multiple women have called and emailed them ever since Carlson filed suit. The accusations on the part of the women have not been specified by Carlson's attorneys, who said that the allegations go back to Ailes sting as producer of "The Mike Douglas Show" in the 1960s.
"The messages are still coming in," John Garger, a spokesperson for Nancy Erika Smith, one of Carlson's attorneys, told the Guardian US.
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