Published On: Thu, May 18th, 2017

Roger Ailes' legacy: 3 lasting effects he has had on politics and TV

Then-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in 2006.(Photo: Jim Cooper, AP)Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who died Thursday, was a towering figure in politics and television.Although he left Fox News in disgrace last year over allegations of sexual harassment at the network, Ailes’ accomplishments live on today in American culture:* Coalesced conservatives:  Ailes coalesced the conservatism movement in politics, first as Richard Nixon’s media adviser during his 1968 presidential election. He instructed Nixon in how to adapt to television and staged town hall events packed with like-minded voters to make the candidate seem more relatable. Ailes then helped Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush gain the White House and mold their messaging strategies.* Spawned conservative TV: At Fox News, started in 1996 by Rupert Murdoch, Ailes spawned conservative news television. With Fox News, he sought to counteract what he considered the liberal leanings of CNN and mainstream news coverage.* Launched media personalities: He helped catapult on-air talent into major personalities who would evolve into major forces in the worlds of publishing, media, showbiz and politics. Among them: Rush Limbaugh, whose radio talk show Ailes began producing in 1992. Then at Fox News, Ailes helped Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren and, more recently, Megyn Kelly, gain audiences who have made Fox News the No. 1 cable TV channel over the last 15 years.Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.