Fox News' Roger Ailes to Report to James and Lachlan Murdoch, Not Rupert

Roger Ailes - H 2015
Wesley Mann

Roger Ailes - H 2015

The Fox News chief will continue his "unique and long-standing relationship" with Rupert Murdoch, said a company spokesman.

Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes will in fact report to James and Lachlan Murdoch when the sons of Rupert Murdoch assume control of 21st Century Fox on July 1.

The revelation comes after the Ailes-run Fox Business Network reported June 11 that Ailes would continue to report to Rupert even after Rupert handed official control of the company to his sons.

"Roger will report to Lachlan and James but will continue his unique and long-standing relationship with Rupert,” 21st Century Fox spokesperson Nathaniel Brown said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter

Rupert Murdoch will transition his CEO title to James, 42, who is currently co-COO, while Lachlan, 43, will become executive co-chairman, with their 84-year-old father focusing on his chairman role. Lachlan is currently nonexecutive co-chairman.

COO and president Chase Carey, with whom Ailes has worked closely, will become executive vice chairman once James takes over as CEO, but Carey is signed only until June 30, 2016 and is expected to leave or take on an advisory role. Ailes, 75, is under contract to Fox News only until next summer. He has admitted that he does not have much of a relationship with James and Lachlan.

"I don't interact with them on a daily or even weekly basis," he told THR in April.

Of course, that might now have to change. But Ailes is known to have clashed with Lachlan in the past, and he assumed control of the Fox Television Stations in 2005 when Lachlan left the company and returned to Australia.

Ailes was brought to News Corp by Rupert Murdoch to create Fox News in 1996 and he has run the wildly successful network ever since, building it into a $15 billion media empire that spawned a second channel, Fox Business Network, in 2007. SNL Kagan estimates that Fox News will generate $2.3 billion in advertising dollars and affiliate revenue in 2015.