In the wake of the recent handover of much of the power at 21st Century Fox from Rupert Murdoch to his sons Lachlan and James — a move that brought with it a certain amount of confusion surrounding Fox News boss Roger Ailes — Fox has firmed up the Ailes situation.
The company announced today that it has signed the Fox News chairman and CEO to a new multiyear contract, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“Specific terms weren’t revealed, but Fox said in a news release that Mr. Ailes would report to Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch,” the WSJ story reports. “In addition to Fox News, Mr. Ailes will remain chairman and CEO of Fox Business Network, and chairman of Fox Television Stations.”
The previous contract with the 75-year-old Ailes was due to expire next summer.
After the leadership transition was announced earlier this month, a controversy arose over reporting lines, with the company announcing that Ailes would be reporting to James and Lachlan Murdoch. Ailes had said publicly that he intended to continue reporting to Rupert Murdoch.
“The decision to have Mr. Ailes report to the younger Murdochs was seen by some familiar with the inner workings of 21st Century Fox as a potential issue over time,” WSJ notes. “Mr. Ailes protects his corner of the Fox empire with zeal.”
Deadline notes that the new arrangement is unlikely to be the final word on the fate of Ailes. “The agreement should calm, but probably won’t end, debates over how the Fox News chief will fare once Rupert Murdoch hands the CEO title over to his son James and elevates his other son, Lachlan, to Executive Co-Chairman,” Deadline notes.
In a statement quoted by Deadline, Rupert Murdoch says: “Roger and I have always had, and will continue to have, a special relationship. Lachlan, James and I are delighted that Roger will be leading key businesses for us and our shareholders for years to come, and he has our unwavering support.”