NEW YORK, N.Y. – Here are the key events leading up to Roger Ailes’ resignation from Fox News Channel, the cable-news juggernaut he built from scratch two decades ago:
June 23: Fox News Channel anchor and former “Fox & Friends” co-host Gretchen Carlson is quietly let go after 11 years with the network upon the expiration of her contract.
July 6: Carlson sues network chief executive Roger Ailes, claiming she was cut loose after she refused his sexual advances and complained about harassment in the workplace. Though the complaint is filed against Ailes, she also cites her former “Fox & Friends” colleague Steve Doocy for alleged sexual harassment. Ailes, in a statement, denies the allegations and accuses Carlson of filing the lawsuit in retaliation for her contract not being renewed. Doocy doesn’t respond. Parent company 21st Century Fox, while stating that “we have full confidence in Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy,” it is launching an internal review.
July 9: New York magazine publishes allegations of sexual misconduct by Ailes from six other women, two of whom speak on the record.
July 12: Veteran Fox News Channel host Neil Cavuto publishes a defence of Ailes in the Business Insider website, describing the accusations against him as “sick.” Cavuto joins a number of female Fox News on-air personalities including Martha MacCallum, Sandra Smith, Greta Van Susteren and Maria Bartiromo who publicly push back against Carlson’s allegations.
July 15: Ailes’ lawyers declare they are seeking to move Carlson’s harassment case against him from a New Jersey court to a closed arbitration panel in New York. Ailes claims Carlson’s contract compels her to submit to arbitration for employment disputes. Carlson argues that the arbitration clause doesn’t apply because she’s suing Ailes personally, not Fox News Channel or its parent.
July 18: A New York magazine story, citing anonymous sources, reports that company heads Rupert Murdoch and his sons, Lachlan and James, have decided to remove Ailes. The company states there has been no resolution to its probe into Ailes’ conduct. “This matter is not yet resolved and the review is not concluded,” the company states.
July 19: New York magazine reports that Megyn Kelly, who is arguably Fox News’ biggest star, has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances toward her about 10 years ago when she was beginning at the network. The report also says that, the day before, the company gave Ailes a deadline of Aug. 1 to resign or be fired for cause.
July 21: Roger Ailes resigns, effective immediately. Rupert Murdoch takes over as acting CEO.