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On the heels of Fox News Channel’s dominant ratings performance at the Republican National Convention, Roger Ailes — the network’s chairman and CEO — is negotiating a new deal, according to a report in New York Magazine.
While Ailes’ contract does not expire until next summer, the report says Ailes’ lawyer Peter Johnson is in talks with News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch associates about a new contract.
Fox News remains the dominant cable news network, ahead of its competitors by a wide margin on the strength of marquee shows from Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. Fox News is also the only cable news network to post gains in the adults 25-54 demo in 2012.
Its coverage of the Republican National Convention brought in the highest single-net showing on cable news all year, besting CNN and MSNBC combined.
Those ratings also matter for the future of News Corp., as the company has announced plans to split its businesses. Its film and TV businesses, including the Fox studio, Fox broadcast network, Fox News and other cable networks, would be part of one entity along with News Corp.’s 39 percent stake in U.K. pay TV giant BSkyB.
The other would contain its publishing assets, such as the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires and its newspapers in the U.K. and Australia.
Ailes may be asking for a contract in the $30 million range, according to the report. That’s a sizable raise — a recent News Corp. earnings report showed Murdoch took a 10 percent pay cut but still made $30 million; Chase Carey, News Corp.’s COO, earned $24.8 million; and Ailes took home $21.1 million.
Fox News has not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter’s request for comment.
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