The New York Times published a front page profile piece on Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes over the weekend. After serving as a communications consultant earlier in his career, Ailes ran CNBC before turning Fox News into the dominant cable news operator. The network makes more than CNN, MSNBC and the evening newscasts of NBC, ABC and CBS combined, reported the Times, citing analyst reports.
The story certainly heralds Ailes achievements, and the only damaging quote comes from from high-powered PR executive Matthew Freud, husband of Rupert Murdoch’s daughter, Elisabeth:
I am by no means alone within the family or the company in being ashamed and sickened by Roger Ailes’s horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards that News Corporation, its founder and every other global media business aspires to.
mediabistro.com received this response from a News Corp. spokesperson:
Matthew Freud speaks only for himself and his views in no way reflect those of Rupert Murdoch who is proud of Roger Ailes and Fox News.
In The Daily Beast, Lloyd Grove calls the quote, “a frontal attack on Ailes and an apparent attempt to force News Corp.’s founder to choose between blood and money, between his progeny and his most-prized executive.”
Freud’s firm, Freud Communications, is the eighth largest public relations company in the UK. Last February, the agency’s New York office was acquired by HL Group.