Is Rupert Murdoch About to Oust Fox News CEO Roger Ailes?

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on July 19, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Earlier this month, former Fox News figure Gretchen Carlson sued the company and its CEO, Roger Ailes, for sexual harassment and wrongful termination. Now, reportedly, media mogul Rupert Murdoch is planning to oust Ailes from Fox after the Carlson lawsuit prompted similar harassment complaints from other women.

According to The Daily Beast, the harassment claims were the impetus for an investigation into Ailes' management style generally, which has apparently been found wanting. New York magazine reported today that Ailes will be offered a chance to resign or be fired.

Management Style

According to the complaint filed by Gretchen Carlson about Roger Ailes, the now-76-year-old CEO was a bully for many years. He made sexual advances, was threatening, and reportedly terminated her because she consistently rebuffed him. Carlson argues in her lawsuit that she was demoted when she complained of a co-host's inappropriate behavior and that Ailes told her she would have advanced further in her journalistic career if she had submitted to his wishes.

Carlson's lawsuit was filed after, she says, Ailes unlawfully terminated her last month. Although she did not name Ailes, or anyone in particular, Carlson published a book last year, called Getting Real, that discussed harassment, among other difficulties faced by women in the workplace. Her lawsuit prompted an onslaught of complaints from other female journalists who had been at Fox News too.

Investigating Roger Ailes

Reportedly the women's complaints led to an internal investigation of Roger Ailes and his management style generally by an independent law firm that Fox News hired. People apparently did not feel so safe talking about Ailes. It was reported that during the investigation interviews conducted by the law firm were moved to the firm's offices over concerns that Fox's offices were bugged.

Whatever was said could not have been good, as a source told New York magazine that Rupert Murdoch and his two sons are going to give Ailes an opportunity to resign or will fire him. "This matter is not yet resolved and the review is not concluded," 21st Century Fox said in a statement.

Bully for a Boss?

If your boss is a bully, subtly or explicitly, that is a relatively common phenomenon that workers must unfortunately deal with all the time. It happens to all of us, even those who seem to have it all, like Gretchen Carlson. But if you have been unlawfully terminated, take a page from her book and talk to a lawyer about your options.

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