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Ailes, Roger Eugene

Ailes, Roger Eugene ālz [key], 1940–2017, American television executive and political adviser, b. Warren, Ohio, grad. Ohio Univ. (B.A., 1962). He worked in local television in the 1960s as a producer, then worked in Richard Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign as media consultant and executive producer for television; he was credited with contributing significantly to Nixon's win. A conservative, Ailes subsequently worked as a political consultant for a number of Republican candidates before serving as media consultant to Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in their successful presidential bids. He left the campaign trail in the early 1990s, returning to television as president (1993–96) of the business news network CNBC. In 1996 Rupert Murdoch launched Fox News, with Ailes as its president. Ailes molded the network into the profitable but sometimes shrill voice of Republican conservativism, reshaping television journalism and becoming a controversial figure in the process. He also became (2005) chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group. Ailes informally advised the Trump presidential campaign in 2016; later that year, allegations of sexual harassment forced his resignation from Fox.

See his You Are the Message: Secrets of a Master Communicator (with J. Kraushar, 1987); biographies by Z. Chafets (2013) and G. Sherman (2014).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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