Change of Plans?
The Hollywood Reporter’s Marissa Guthrie takes note of the change in reporting structure at 21st Century Fox. If it ever was a change…
Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes will in fact report to James and Lachlan Murdoch when the sons of Rupert Murdoch assume control of 21st Century Fox on July 1.
The revelation comes after the Ailes-run Fox Business Network reported June 11 that Ailes would continue to report to Rupert even after Rupert handed official control of the company to his sons.
“Roger will report to Lachlan and James but will continue his unique and long-standing relationship with Rupert,” 21st Century Fox spokesperson Nathaniel Brown said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
And what does that mean? Is that PR spin to make it look like Ailes can bypass the sons to go to the father when he really can’t? Or can Ailes truly circumvent them when he wants? My money is on the former.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say we may have just seen the first marker…the very first marker…in Roger Ailes’ retirement laid down. There is kibitzing…just talk amongst the chattering class mind you…of the possibility of an Ailes exit after the 2016 election.
However, unlike Joseph Farah’s apocalyptic Chicken Little outburst on World Net Daily a couple days ago (“Exclusive”, WND? Sheesh), I don’t expect too much of a change at FNC if Ailes exits…provided Bill Shine is named as his successor. Ailes spent 15 years assembling the team behind FNC and FBN. That does not come apart the moment he leaves.
Unless James decides to blow it up; and he’d be ousted by the board and shareholders if he did something that suicidal, FNC should continue along as before for some time to come though talent departures/retirements and unfoerseen massive changes in the industry could alter that prognosis.