Roger Ailes timeline: Fox News founder’s life in pictures

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Roger Ailes, the media mogul who founded Fox News, died last month

In the wake of Fox News network founder Roger Ailes’s death last month, those who accused Ailes of sexual harassment suffered yet another blow.

The ex-Fox chairman and Ailes’s wife Elizabeth sued a former Fox News booker and commentator, Andrea Tantaros, alleging defamation.

Two of Tantaros’s former colleagues were also fired. Among the complaints made by Tantaros was that Ailes referred to her as a “Gold Blk Girl” and that he referred to another woman as a “t**t”.

Here are some key dates in the history of Ailes’s career:


Roger Ailes is born to Jack and Dorothy Ailes in Brooklyn, New York. His first experience of the media is in summer camp, where he is humiliated by bullies.


After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974, Ailes works for Mike Douglas, a TV talkshow host based in New York. He goes on to become head of Douglas’s production company, the Mike Douglas TV.


Ailes is hired by Rupert Murdoch to create a new television channel based on a four-station local news network. The channel would be “readily affordable” and would attract “every day” people.

Fox News becomes a success. In the 1992 Republican presidential primaries, Ailes successfully campaigned to run successful campaigns for Pat Buchanan, who was supported by Buchanan’s party base.


Murdoch buys a controlling stake in Fox News.


The channel becomes available on cable television.


The channel switches to Fox News Channel.


Fox Business Channel airs.


Ailes resigns as chief executive of Fox News.


Tasos Anthony, the film critic for the Fox News Channel’s entertainment show Hollywood Tonight, leaves the network. His duties were moved to people from the Fox News Radio unit. The person who replaced Anthony did not like to speak to the press.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson and show producer David Yeager are also dismissed from the network.

Tantaros files a defamation lawsuit against Elizabeth Ailes.

Tantaros is joined by two other women who previously worked at Fox News: Cori Thomas and Jessica Diaz.

Ailes denies all accusations made by the women.

What did Fox News say?

In a statement, Fox News said it was not in a position to respond to “partisan attacks”, but said: “We can tell you this – Roger Ailes did not sexually harass the plaintiffs, and the suit is completely without merit.”

Were people who worked for Ailes speaking out?

Ailes has not been available for comment. Following Ailes’s death, some former Fox News employees opened up about harassment they had encountered on the job.

Among them were journalist Juliet Huddy, who says she received an email with a detailed picture of her in bed.

Fox News had denied that the email came from Ailes, as it was sent from former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. However, a magazine has reported the exact text of the email.

One of the victims speaking out, Jay Wallace, who has worked for Fox News for more than 20 years, said he chose not to work for Ailes “because of his reputation and because we didn’t want to be a part of his culture”.

Susan Estrich, the Harvard Law School professor and Democratic party donor who represented Anita Hill when she testified before a panel examining Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, has also spoken out about Ailes.

Ailes allegedly made numerous sexist comments to Hill before she gave her testimony about sexual harassment. Some commentators have criticised her for going to the US media.

“She has pursued a partisan agenda for nearly 40 years, primarily against Republicans, and she has no credibility whatsoever,” conservative commentator Laura Ingraham said on Wednesday’s edition of Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle show.

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