Roger Ailes, who ruled Fox News Channel for 20 years and changed not only the television news landscape but also the American political landscape, died as the result of a fall, the AP reports, citing the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Ailes fell in the bathroom May 10 at his home in Palm Beach, Fla., the story reports. He hit his head and was bleeding profusely before being transported to a hospital by paramedics, according to The Palm Beach Police Department.
The fall caused bleeding on the brain, according to the report. Ailes died this morning at 77.
In October 1996, “Ailes flipped the switch on Fox News Channel, which within a few years became the audience leader in cable news,” the AP reports. “Ailes branded the network ‘Fair and Balanced’ and declared he had left the political world behind, but conservative viewers found a home and lifted prime-time commentators Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity to the top of the news ratings.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was among those reflecting on the death of Ailes, writing on Twitter: “Roger Ailes was a genius at politics and the news media. His advice to Presidents Nixon and Reagan was historic and helped elect both. The history of cable television will have a very big chapter on Roger Ailes. Without his success at Fox News Trump could never have won.”
Gabriel Sherman, author of the critical Ailes biography “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” said of Ailes: “It’s a very complicated story. ”He is in some ways a genius and in some ways tragic. His quest for power consumed him.”