Roger Ailes: Wikis


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Roger Eugene Ailes
Born May 15, 1940 (1940-05-15) (age 69)
Warren, Ohio, United States
Occupation President of Fox News Channel
Chairman of Fox Television Stations Group
Salary $8.3 million[1][2]

Roger Eugene Ailes (born May 15, 1940) is the American president of Fox News Channel and chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group. He was a media consultant for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, as well as Rudy Giuliani’s first mayoral campaign in 1989.


Early life

Ailes was born and grew up in the factory town of Warren, Ohio, the son of a factory foreman. Ailes suffers from Hemophilia and was often hospitalized as a youth. Ailes attended the Warren City School. Later, he was inducted into the Warren High Schools' Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.[3] Ailes graduated in 1962 from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, receiving a BA.[4]



Early television

Ailes' career in television began in Cleveland and Philadelphia, where he started as property assistant (1962) producer(1965) and executive producer(1967-1968) for KYW-TV,[5] for a then-locally produced talk-variety show, The Mike Douglas Show. He later became executive producer for the show, which was syndicated nationally. He was nominated for, but failed to win a Daytime Emmy Awards for it in 1968[6]. It was in this position, in 1967, that he had a spirited discussion about television in politics with one of the show's guests, Richard Nixon, who took the view that television was a gimmick. Later, Nixon called on Ailes to serve as his executive producer of TV. Nixon's election victory was only Ailes' first venture into the political spotlight.

Other ventures

Ailes founded Ailes Communications, Inc., in New York in 1969, and consulted for various businesses and politicians, including WCBS-TV. He also tried his hand in theater production with the Broadway musical Mother Earth (1972) and the off-Broadway hit play Hot l Baltimore (1973-76), for which Ailes received four Obie Awards. He was executive producer for the television special The Last Frontier in 1974. He produced and directed a television special, Fellini: Wizards, Clowns and Honest Liars.

Political consulting

Ailes served as a political consultant for many Republican candidates during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. His first such job was as media advisor for the Nixon campaign in 1968. He returned to presidential campaigning as a consultant to Ronald Reagan in 1984. He is widely credited with having coached Reagan to victory in the second presidential debate with Walter Mondale.

In 1988 Ailes was credited (along with Lee Atwater) with guiding George H. W. Bush to a come-from-behind [7] victory over Michael Dukakis. Ailes and Lee Atwater scripted and produced the "Revolving Door" ad. He did not produce the Willie Horton ad, which was directed and produced by the National Security Political Action Committee (NSPAC), but Democrats later charged the Bush campaign with illegally coordinating the ads with the NSPAC. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) investigated the charge and deadlocked on a 3-3 vote, clearing Ailes and the campaign of legal problems.[8] Ailes also came up with the "orchestra pit theory" regarding sensationalist political coverage in the news media, with the question:

If you have two guys on a stage and one guy says, 'I have a solution to the Middle East problem,' and the other guy falls in the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?[9]

Ailes announced his withdrawal from political consulting in 1992. He did not work on the 1992 Bush campaign against Bill Clinton.

Ailes' TV ads for the 1988 Bush campaign were extensively examined in the award-winning documentary film Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story.

Later television

In 1984, Ailes directed a television special, Television and the Presidency. [10]

In 1988, Ailes wrote a book with Jon Kraushar called You Are the Message: Secrets of the Master Communicators,[11] in which he discusses some of his philosophies and strategies for successful performance in the public eye.

In 1991, Ailes convinced a syndicator to bring Rush Limbaugh from radio to television and became executive producer of the late-night show.[12] The show debuted in 1992 and was eventually discontinued in 1996. The pilot and series were produced with Richard Mincer, Maria Bianco, Kathleen Gleason and Nick Africano out of Unitel Studios on W. 57th Street in New York City.

In 1993, Ailes became president of the cable channel CNBC and began planning another NBC cable channel, America's Talking. The new channel debuted on July 4, 1994. Ailes also hosted his own nightly show, Straight Forward, an hour-long talk show.[13]

Fox News

After the announcement of Microsoft and NBC's partnership to create an online and cable news outlet, MSNBC, taking the place of America's Talking, Ailes left the network in February 1996 and was hired by Rupert Murdoch to create Fox News Channel for News Corporation. In addition, 89 additional employees of the NBC networks left with Ailes to help with the new channel's creation for launch, on October 7, 1996.

Chairman of Fox Television Stations

After the departure of Lachlan Murdoch from News Corporation, Ailes was named Chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group on August 15, 2005. Following his newest assignment, one of his first acts was canceling A Current Affair in September 2005 and replacing it with a new Geraldo Rivera show titled Geraldo at Large, which debuted on Halloween, 2005. Rivera's show drew about the same ratings as A Current Affair [14] in January 2007. Ailes decided to cancel Geraldo at Large to move Rivera back on Fox News Channel.

Ailes also hired former CBS executive Dennis Swanson in October 2005 to be president of the Fox Television Stations Group. Additionally, there have been changes in affiliates' news programs with the uniforming of Fox News Channel-like graphics, redesigned studios, news-format changes, and the announcement of a new morning television show called The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet to be produced by Fox News Channel.

He signed a new deal in November 2008 that keeps him at the network for another five years. Salary terms were not revealed although his current salary is a reported $5 million per year with bonuses and other compensation extra. His total compensation in 2009 was $23 million. In addition to heading Fox News, Ailes also chairs Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television as well as MyNetwork TV and Fox Business Network.


Following the announcement of the UPN/WB merger creating The CW network, News Corporation announced the creation of MyNetworkTV to provide an alternative network for its O&O UPN affiliates on February 22, 2006. Ailes only learned of UPN's demise 10 minutes before the official announcement.[14] The network officially debuted on September 5, 2006 with a slate of telenovelas like Watch Over Me and Wicked Wicked Games, which received low ratings. The soap operas were phased out after a few months, it now airs programming targeted to 13-45 year old males.

Newspaper ownership

In the spring of 2008 Ailes bought a local newspaper in Cold Spring, New York, the town in which they own a weekend/summer mansion. The newspaper, the Putnam County News and Recorder, has a circulation of approximately 4,000.[15] Ailes also purchased the Putnam County Courier in April 2009.[16]

Political speculation

According to Politico, friends of Ailes are encouraging him to make a run for the presidency in 2012. The story suggests that such talk is based on "more than mere speculation." Ailes has denied interest in a White House bid.[17]

Personal life

Ailes' second marriage was to Norma E. Ailes, who had been a television producer with Mission Media Ministries.[18] The two raised one child, a daughter from Norma Ailes' earlier relationship, Shawn C. Ailes Visco Ferrer (born July 1968), now a television producer.[19]

In July 1997, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Ailes was engaged to Elizabeth Tilson (born December 1960), whom he married on February 14, 1998. Formerly a television executive, she is now a homemaker. They have one son.

Ohio University

In October 2007, Ailes gave a sizeable donation to Ohio University for a renovated student newsroom.[20] The new facility will double the size of the university's existing newsroom - last upgraded in the 1960s - and allow more students to participate in the school's WOUB radio station and television programs.

Ailes majored in radio and television while at Ohio University and served two years as manager of the school's radio station[21]. Since 1994 he has funded scholarships for Ohio University students in the school's telecommunications programs.[22]

Ailes said, "Ohio University ignited my interest in broadcasting, which became my lifetime career. The education I received there gave me the opportunity to take on my first managerial responsibilities and provided early lessons in leadership. I'm happy to contribute to a great university."[20]


  • Ailes, Roger. "Attorney Style: Charisma in a Court Counts." The National Law Journal (New York), 21 July 1986. You Are the Message. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1987.
  • Ailes, Roger. "Campaign Strategy." Time (New York), 11 May 1992.
  • Ailes, Roger. "A Few Kind Words for Presenter Tip O'Neill." Advertising Age (New York), 8 January 1990.
  • Ailes, Roger. "How to Make a Good Impression." Reader's Digest (Pleasantville, New York), September 1989.
  • Ailes, Roger. "How to Make an Audience Love You." Working Woman (New York), November 1990.
  • Ailes, Roger. "The Importance of Being Likeable." Reader's Digest (Pleasantville, New York), May 1988. "Sam and Diane: Give 'em Time." Advertising Age (New York), 21 August 1989.
  • Ailes, Roger. "Lighten Up! Stuffed Shirts Have Short Careers." Newsweek (New York), 18 May 1992.
  • Ailes, Roger. "They Told the Truth...Occasionally." Adweek's Marketing Week (New York), 29 January 1990.
  • Ailes, Roger. YOU Are the Message: Getting What You Want by Being Who You Are (1989)
  • Angwin, Julia. "After Riding High With Fox News, Murdoch Aide Has Harder Slog" The Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2006;.
  • Barnes, Fred. "Pulling the Strings." The New Republic, 22 February 1988.
  • Devlin, Patrick L. "Contrasts in Presidential Campaign Commercials of 1988." American Behavioral Scientist, March-April 1989.
  • Hass, Nancy. "Roger Ailes: Embracing the Enemy." New York Times Magazine, 8 January 1995.
  • Miller, Stuart. "Roger Ailes Hits TV with a Rush." Variety , 21 June 1991.
  • Oneal, Michael. "Roger Ailes Fixed CNBC, But Now Ted Turner Looms." Business Week, 3 July 1995.
  • Swint, Kerwin. Dark Genius: The Influential Career of Legendary Political Operative and Fox News Founder Roger Ailes. New York: Union Square Press, 2008.
  • Wolinsky, Leo C. "Refereeing the TV Campaign." Washington Journalism Review, January-February 1991.


  1. ^ "The Ticker: Ailes, Cooper/Sheehan, 9/11...". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-03-11.  
  2. ^ Roger Ailes's salary
  3. ^ "Warren High Schools' Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2007-11-15.  
  4. ^ "Roger Ailes's BA". museum of Broadcast communications. Retrieved 2009-10-23.  
  5. ^ "Roger Ailes's First Job". museum of Broadcast communications. Retrieved 2009-10-23.  
  6. ^ Roger Ailes - Awards, Nominated: Outstanding Achievement in Daytime Programming - Programs for: "The Mike Douglas Show"
  7. ^ "New Polls Show Bush Shaves Dukakis Lead". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-15.  
  8. ^ Independent Ads
  9. ^ Bogus, Carl T. (1997-03-17). "The Death of an Honorable Profession". Indiana University Law School. Retrieved 2009-07-13.  
  10. ^ Television and the Presidency at the Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ You Are the Message: Secrets of the Master Communicators, ISBN 9780870949760
  12. ^ The Rush Limbaugh Show at the Internet Movie Database
  13. ^ Straight Forward With Roger Ailes,
  14. ^ a b "After Riding High With Fox News, Murdoch Aide Has Harder Slog". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2007-11-15.  
  15. ^ Roger Ailes
  16. ^ Fox exec revives Putnam County Courier
  17. ^ [1],
  18. ^ Mission Media: Delaware Valley - Strategy Team
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b Ohio University Outlook
  21. ^ Alumnus Roger Ailes helps fund newsroom, Ohio University Outlook, 2007-10-31
  22. ^ Ailes chips in for alma mater's new newsroom - Giving -

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Roger Eugene Ailes (born 15 May 1940) is the president of Fox News Channel and chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group. He was a media consultant for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, as well as Rudy Giuliani’s first mayoral campaign in 1989.


  • To determine whether or not you have the ingredients to be charismatic, answer the following questions: What are your real feelings about who you are? What do you believe in? Do you have goals or a mission in life? Do you project optimism? Do others turn to you for leadership? Noncharismatic people spend their lives auditioning for others and hoping they'll be accepted. Charismatic people don't doubt their ability to add value to a situation, so they move forward with their mission.
    • You are the Message : Getting What You Want by Being Who You Are (1989)
  • I often tell my clients they should do at least 30 percent of all their reading outside their own field. This will give them perspective and knowledge that will make them more interesting.
    • You are the Message : Getting What You Want by Being Who You Are (1989)

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