Fox News Channel founder Roger Ailes dies aged 77

Roger Ailes, who transformed TV news by creating the Fox News Channel only to be ousted at the height of his reign for alleged sexual harassment, has died at the age of 77.

A former Republican party operative to candidates including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush, Mr Ailes later turned his media savvy towards running TV networks.

 Fox News CEO Roger Ailes poses at Fox News in New York in 2006. Picture: AP Photo/Jim Cooper
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes poses at Fox News in New York in 2006. Picture: AP Photo/Jim Cooper

In early 1996 he accepted a challenge from media mogul Rupert Murdoch to build a news network from scratch to compete with CNN.

That October, Mr Ailes flipped the switch on the Fox News Channel, which went on to become the audience leader in US cable news.

It also emerged as a powerful force on the political scene, with Mr Ailes dismissing criticism that the network he branded as "fair and balanced" had a conservative bias.

He was abruptly dismissed from Fox News in July 2016 in the wake of a lawsuit filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson accusing him of sexual improprieties.

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