Erasing any doubts that a 21st Century Fox Corp. without Rupert Murdoch would mean a Fox News Channel without Roger Ailes, the company Thursday morning announced a "multi-year" deal for Ailes to remain as boss.
Murdoch -- who earlier announced this he would step aside and that his sons, James and Lachlan, would take the helm of 21st Century Fox -- said in a statement:
"Nearly two decades ago, Roger took a bold idea rooted in the belief that there was room for more choice in cable news, and ? much to all the naysayers? surprise ? through his development of vibrant programming and talent, created a behemoth of a business with one of the most passionate and engaged audiences in the history of television news. Roger and I have always had, and will continue to have, a special relationship. Lachlan, James and I are delighted that Roger will be leading key businesses for us and our shareholders for years to come, and he has our unwavering support."
Ailes launched FNC, and to some extent created it in his own image or at least as a reflection of his own style -- as a conservative counterpart to not just CNN and MSNBC but to all other broadcast and cable components of what Ailes long ago dismissed as "the mainstream" media. A spectacular success, an FNC without Ailes is almost inconceivable -- so closely is that style and approach allied with the network.
That's clearly a reason Fox sought to allay any concerns that Ailes -- as has been rumored -- didn't the rapport with Murdoch's sons that he long had with Murdoch.
The sons sought to allay that too. In their statement, they said:
"Roger is an incredibly talented executive and we?re pleased he has accepted our offer to continue his extraordinary record of success at 21st Century Fox. We look forward to witnessing his energy and entrepreneurial drive in leading the next wave of growth for Fox News, Fox Business Network and Fox Television Stations, as well as many years of continued success together."