Chaos at Fox News: Roger Ailes' secret behind-the-scenes scheme puts network's leadership in doubt

Michael Clemente, the former heir-apparent, will now be in charge of the company's "longform unit"

By Scott Eric Kaufman
Published April 22, 2016 6:00PM (UTC)
main article image
(AP/Reed Saxon)

Who will replace Roger Ailes as Fox News chief when his contract expires in 2018 is uncertain now that the CEO has "kneecapped" Michael Clemente, who many thought was in line for the position.

Last week, in what appeared to be a show of support for Clemente -- a former ABC News executive -- Ailes berated many of the network's top executives for being critical of Clemente. However, many within the company saw that public display as an indication that Clemente lacked Ailes' trust.


As one Fox insider told New York's Gabriel Sherman, Ailes is often "nicest to you when you're on the way out."

A Fox anchor also spoke to Sherman, saying that Ailes secretly believed Clemente was responsible for leaking to the press:

Inside Fox, where executives use burner phones because they fear their corporate lines are monitored, there’s not much worse than being labeled a leaker. Another mark against Clemente is that he had a relationship with Rupert Murdoch. Ailes is said to dislike executives who build up independent power bases, and talking to Murdoch, Ailes's boss, would be seen as a threat.

Read the rest at New York...

Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

MORE FROM Scott Eric KaufmanFOLLOW scottekaufmanLIKE Scott Eric Kaufman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Fox News Media Michael Clemente Roger Ailes