Published On: Thu, May 18th, 2017

Fox News pays tribute to co-founder Roger Ailes

Fox News CEO Roger Ailes speaks in this 2011 file photo(Photo: Alex Kroke, ASSOCIATED PRESS)Fox News’ anchors and personalities paid tribute Thursday to the memory of co-founder and former CEO Roger Ailes, whose sudden death added another shock wave to a news operation already in turmoil.Ailes’ death dominated the conservative news network’s coverage, with anchors dipping in to offer sentimental remembrances as they pivoted from other news of the day.Anchors read statements by conservative pundit Sean Hannity and 21st Century Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch as photos of Ailes posing in front of Fox News’ studio showed on screen.The network’s announcement of his death came across as a breaking news alert, with Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy announcing the death.”He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise and to give back,” Doocy said. “During a career that stretched more than five decades his work in entertainment, in politics, in news affected the lives of many millions. And so even as we mourn his death, we celebrate his life.”Ainsley Earhardt appeared to be fighting back tears as she read a statement from Ailes’ wife Elizabeth, which was posted on news aggregator website Drudge Report.Bret Baier, the network’s chief political anchor, sent his condolences to Ailes and his family over the air during his segment. Baier also mentioned that Ailes ended his Fox News career amid controversy.The network’s story on Ailes’ death explains how he built the network “into a cable powerhouse” and describes him as a “television pioneer” who “was a confidante of presidents and an acknowledged master of communications.”A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Related:Drudge News beats Fox News in reporting on Ailes’ deathRoger Ailes dead at 77Roger Ailes’ legacy: 3 lasting effects he has had on politics and TVIt mentioned his July resignation after he was sued by former network anchor Gretchen Carlson for sexual harassment. “Ailes resigned from Fox in July amid charges of sexual harassment,” the Fox News account says.Ailes’ resignation triggered a series of blows endured by Fox in recent months, including the departure of commentator Bill O’Reilly after disclosures of payouts by the network to settle sexual harassment claims against him. The network also lost one of its biggest stars when anchor Megyn Kelly declined to renew her contact.On the whole, the network portrayed Ailes was as a television legend. His work with former presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Trump also served as career highlights. On Twitter, conservative media members, many of whom were former employees of Ailes, posted odes to him.Ailes’ death led several other conservative news websites. “Profoundly Sad,” was the headline on The Daily Caller. “‘Revolutionized’ news industry” topped Breitbart’s website and The Blaze posted a statement by its founder Glenn Beck, who called Ailes one of the biggest tutors and disappointments of his life.”He could be whoever he needed to be at the time, whoever he was around. He was a brilliant, brilliant man,” he said. “The side of him that I saw, I really liked. The side of him that I saw come out towards the end I despised and couldn’t get away from fast enough,” Beck said.Roger Ailes and I had a very interesting relationship. pic.twitter.com/PNkwqPymnVFollow Sean Rossman on Twitter: @SeanRossman