2:46 pm Oct. 19, 20121
News Corporation has inked a new deal for one of its most well-paid and influential executives.
Roger Ailes, the chairman and C.E.O. of Fox News Channel, has signed a new four-year contract as the head of the network, News Corp. announced Friday afternoon.
"Mr. Ailes, who first joined News Corporation in 1996, will continue to oversee Fox News, Fox Television Stations (FTS), Fox Business Network (FBN), Twentieth Television and MyNetwork TV," the company said in a statement. "He will also continue in his role as a senior advisor to Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch on television and news matters."
The contract renewal was first reported on Twitter by Newsweek's Howard Kurtz, who tends to get good access when reporting on the notoriously bullish and hermetic cable news channel.
Ailes' future at Fox News, which he launched in 1996, has been the subject of speculation in recent months.
In early September, New York magazine's Gabe Sherman, who is working on a book about Fox News and Ailes, reported that negotiations were in progress and that Ailes stood to lock down a $30 million mega-deal.
"There are significant reasons for Ailes to remain rooted at Fox News," wrote Sherman. "The network is his kingdom, and he rules over the operation unchallenged. He has yet to publicly designate a successor. And his competitive streak provides plenty of drive for him to keep the ratings numbers juiced."
Since its debut 16 years ago, Fox News has soared past its competitors in the cable news ratings race, regularly trouncing CNN and MSNBC during key weeknight primetime hours.
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