New York Times Gets Early Copy of Explosive Roger Ailes Biography

By Chris Ariens 

AilesInvestorDayThe New York Times got its hands on a copy of “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” Gabe Sherman‘s 560-page biography of Roger Ailes. In the more than 100 pages of source notes and bibliography, Sherman writes that he worked on the book for three years and interviewed 614 people who knew or worked with Ailes. The Times story recounts several episodes of Ailes’s “volatile temper and domineering behavior.”

In one anecdote, a television producer, Randi Harrison, told Mr. Sherman that while negotiating her salary with Mr. Ailes at NBC in the 1980s, he offered her an additional $100 each week “if you agree to have sex with me whenever I want.”

A Fox News spokesperson responds: “These charges are false. While we have not read the book, the only reality here is that Gabe was not provided any direct access to Roger Ailes and the book was never fact-checked with Fox News.”

The Times also highlights the ugly power struggle between Ailes, then an executive at NBC, and David Zaslav, now the president and CEO of Discovery Communications.

At a company dinner, according to the book, Mr. Ailes made clear he was ready to do battle with Mr. Zaslav. “Let’s kill the S.O.B.,” he told his dining companions, Mr. Sherman writes. At a separate meeting with Mr. Zaslav, the book says, Mr. Ailes was said to have unleashed a vulgar, anti-Semitic slur at his rival.

Ailes denies the charge. So does Zaslav who says the incident never happened, telling The Times, “We fought with each other and we fought with a lot of other people,” he said Tuesday in a phone interview. “But this allegation is false.” He added that he and Mr. Ailes were now friends.

“The Loudest Voice in the Room” goes on sale in two weeks. An excerpt will appear earlier in New York magazine.