Roger Ailes' name is to be expunged from the WOUB
newsroom at Ohio University. OU President Roderick McDavis announced at a Faculty Senate meeting yesterday that the letters of Ailes' name were taken down before the meeting ended, and a board was placed over the space.
“The distraction from the teaching of the Scripps College of Communication has weighed heavily on my mind as I deliberated over the sustained effect on our university community should we continue to have our newsroom named for Mr. Ailes," McDavis said. "Given the allegations against Mr. Ailes, the circumstances surrounding his departure from Fox News, I’ve decided to return his gift and remove his name."
In 2007, the former Fox News chairman and CEO donated $500,000 to the university. As part of an agreement with OU, Ailes agreed to pay the full amount within five years in exchange for naming a newsroom after him. He is an OU alumnus.
More than $200,000 of Ailes' money was spent by OU on a classroom and computer facilities for students.
Fox News’ parent company reached a $20 million settlement last week with Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News anchor, who sued Ailes over sexual harassment allegations in July. She was among 20 women who have made allegations against Ailes. Fox also settled with at least two other women.
WOUB Director and general manager Tom Hodson stated that he is gratified by McDavis’ announcement. Last week, the Graduate Student Senate passed a resolution requesting the removal of the name. Angie Chapman, Angie Chapman, vice president for communication for GSS, said that her group had not expected an announcement last night. She said that there remains “more to be done, and misconduct that still need to be addressed…”
The director of E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Robert Stewart, applauded McDavis’ decision and expressed “relief” to have Ailes’ name and plaque removed.
Just the same, scholarships with Ailes' name will continue to be issued until McDavis can make a decision. Some senate members thanked him for the measure, including a professor in the Scripps School of Communication who teaches in the classroom next to the newsroom.
According to WOUB, Professor Mary Rogus said of the development, “I don’t know how I would have taught in that space another day.”
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