NEW YORK (AP) – Roger Ailes, who transformed TV news by creating Fox News Channel, only to be ousted at the height of his reign for alleged sexual harassment, died Thursday, Fox News reported. He was 77.
According to a Palm Beach police report, a caller contacted 911 dispatchers just before 2 p.m. on May 10, saying Ailes had fallen in his bathroom, hit his head and had serious bleeding.
The caller said Ailes was not responding appropriately to questions and was still on the ground. Paramedics arrived within a minute and he was taken to a hospital.
No other details were announced.
A former GOP operative to candidates including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Ailes later turned his media savvy to running TV networks. In early 1996 he accepted a challenge from media titan Rupert Murdoch to build a news network from scratch to compete with CNN.
That October, Ailes flipped the switch on Fox News Channel. It became the audience leader in cable news. It also emerged as a powerful force on the political scene, while the feisty, hard-charging Ailes swatted off criticism that the network he branded as “Fair and Balanced” had a conservative tilt.
He was abruptly dismissed from Fox News in July 2016 in the wake of a lawsuit filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson accusing Ailes of sexual improprieties.
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