Fox News chief Roger Ailes resigns after harassment allegations

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Roger Ailes has resigned with immediate effect as the chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News, just weeks after one of the company’s former anchors filed a sexual harassment suit against the businessman.

A statement released just after financial markets closed said Ailes had resigned from his role with immediate effect. The announcement made no reference to the recent allegations but said News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch will take over as Chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox News Business.

“Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country. Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years,” Murdoch said in the statement.

It added: “It is always difficult to create a channel or a publication from the ground up and against seemingly entrenched monopolies. To lead a flourishing news channel, and to build Fox Business, Roger has defied the odds.”

Shortly after the announcement, the conservative news website Drudge Report published what it said was a letter sent by Ailes to Murdoch. “Having spent 20 years building this historic business, I will not allow my presence to become a distraction from the work that must be done every day to ensure that Fox News and Fox Business continue to lead our industry,” Ailes reportedly said.

The resignation comes just over two weeks after former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson accused Ailes of sexual harassment, though Ailes has strongly denied the allegations, claiming they were retaliatory for the network’s decision not to renew her contract. Several other women have since also accused Ailes of sexual harassment.

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