Roger Ailes, the head honcho at Fox News, has resigned.
Following weeks of sexual harassment claims from colleagues including Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly — as well as a denial that he wouldn't be going anywhere from the network — Ailes stepped down Thursday. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 76-year-old will reportedly walk away with $40 million, the remainder left on his contract originally set to expire in 2018.
Rupert Murdoch, 21st Century Fox's 85-year-old executive co-chairman, will take over CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network until a replacement is found. Insiders have said Murdoch's sons Lachlan and James were instrumental in the decision to remove Ailes after a contentious and sometimes combative relationship.
In a statement, Murdoch said, "Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country. Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years. Fox News has given voice to those who were ignored by the traditional networks and has been one of the great commercial success stories of modern media."
During Ailes' 20-year career leading Fox News, he oversaw an organization that rose to great popularity with conservatives — and profitability. Fox News contributes some 25 percent to the bottom line at 21st Century Fox; it generated $2.5 billion in total revenue last year.