Roger Ailes, the television executive the liberals love to hate, has inked a new deal that will keep him at the helm of ratings juggernaut Fox News Channel until 2016 at least.
Ailes will continue in his role as chairman and CEO of Fox News and chairman of Fox Television Stations as well as overseeing Fox Business Network and other media properties. He also will continue serve as a senior advisor to News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch. Ailes reportedly was earning about $20 million a year, so the new contract presumably gives him an increase in pay. His current contract was set to expire next summer.
According Howard Kurtz of The Daily Beast, Ailes, 72, isn’t retiring because among other things he enjoys good health and there is no obvious heir apparent or successor if or when he decides to hang up his headphones:
“Ailes personifies Fox in a way that is true for few other corporate executives.
“That’s in part because Ailes built Fox News from scratch, starting in 1996, and it’s now a cable news powerhouse in terms of ratings. He also oversees the five-year-old Fox Business Network, which is more ratings-challenged, and the Fox network’s television stations. Whether you love or loathe Fox, it’s a business success story.”
New York Magazine reports that Fox News is bringing in $1 billion in profit this year and last year the news network alone generated about 40 percent of News Corp.’s profits. The report adds that “The network is [Ailes's] kingdom, and he rules over the operation unchallenged … And his competitive streak provides plenty of drive for him to keep the ratings numbers juiced.”
Adweek summarizes Ailes accomplishments as the Fox News chief:
“He’s led Fox News to total ratings dominance of its chief competitors, CNN and MSNBC, and he’s given the network’s conservative commentators (including bestselling authors Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity) a platform for a firebreathing style of opinion programming that proved as popular on linear cable as it had become on talk radio.”
Most of the FNC broadcast day consists of straight-up news (fair and balanced is the network’s motto), although the prime time evening programming is opinion-oriented.
Ailes’ current contract was set to expire next summer.