Roger Ailes Congratulates Fox News Staff on Latest GOP Debate

Wesley Mann
Roger Ailes

"Mr. Murdoch called me this morning and asked me to pass along his congratulations to everyone involved."

Certainly not drawing the kind of GOP criticism the recent CNBC debate earned, Tuesday's Republican candidate showdown on the Fox Business Network has prompted internal kudos from top brass.

The Hollywood Reporter obtained a memo sent out by Fox News and Fox Business Network chairman and CEO Wednesday morning, in which the chief congratulated the staff on the record-breaking ratings:

First, my congratulations to the employees of the Fox Business Network. The debate last night was excellent and showcased FBN as a world class financial network.  Every one of our team leaders accomplished our goal of presenting a serious, meaningful debate while holding the audience. Our debate hosts/moderators all did a phenomenal job.

I’d also like to thank the employees of the Fox News Channel for providing fabulous support to the FBN folks and helping to pull off a night of great success. We were widely praised, and correctly so, for the Fox News Channel debate in August, but people have come to expect excellence from Fox News. It may have been a surprise to many what I’ve known all along--that FBN is no longer an upstart, but rather a full blown powerful competitor in the business news field. I simply cannot mention by name everybody involved, but Bill Shine, Brian Jones, Jay Wallace, and John Moody met with me throughout the process and did one of the most professional jobs I’ve ever seen in a debate. I’m proud of all of you. Mr. Murdoch called me this morning and asked me to pass along his congratulations to everyone involved. He thought the debate was professional and intelligent. Thank you.

Moderated by Maria Bartiromo, Neil Cavuto and Gerard Baker, the debate gave Fox Business a decisive all-time high 13.5 million viewers. That's shy of the first three debates, but it hasn't prompted the ire of the Republican Party. Shortly after the CNBC-hosted debate, the GOP issued a statement saying that they would were putting a hold on their relationship with NBC News.