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The former O'Reilly Factor host told his podcast audience that Ailes was a visionary who drove Fox News to "unprecedented success" and was a "tough guy" who often did kind things for others in private.

Kaplan reported that he agreed to keep his recent conversation with Ailes off the record unless the latter died.

"At 21st Century Fox we will always be enormously grateful for the great business he built".

Given that the anchors of Fox News barely addressed their former CEO Roger Ailes being forced out of the network a year ago, it was hard to predict how they'd handle the announcement of his death Thursday. But she explains how she felt she had to come forward with the other women who said they experienced sexual harassment from Ailes', too, even though this "army" had to stay "underground".

In the months since his departure, Fox News' parent company, Twenty-First Century Fox, reportedly paid out $45 million to settle allegations of sexual harassment as of the end of the first quarter this year.

"Fox News often operates nearly as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party", Anita Dunn, communications director in the Obama White House, told CNN in 2009.

Ms Carlson's allegations were met with denial from Mr. Ailes as he said, "This is a retaliatory suit for the network's decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup".

To be clear, there is no evidence that Ailes died from not being liked.

"Either this man is insane or he has the biggest set of balls I've ever seen", Murdoch is widely quoted as having said of first meeting Ailes.

Ailes resigned from Fox News a few weeks after former anchor Gretchen Carlson sued him individually in July 2016, saying he sexually harassed her. If you knew nothing about him, this short, pudgy, balding fellow might appear cuddly, nearly huggable, like a nice old uncle you'd nickname Jolly Roger.

Ryssdal: When you watch Fox news today, what do you see? It also carries a whiff of condescension - "specialists" talking down to an audience - that Ailes would never abide by, Carusone said.

"Nobody thought Mitch McConnell was going to beat Dee Huddleston", said Al Cross, director of the University of Kentucky's Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues. He coarsened the culture, he mainstreamed conspiracy theories and he paved the ground for the election of Donald Trump, who harnessed all of those currents that Roger Ailes unleashed on the country over the last 40 years.

For years, it was not unusual for Fox to easily get more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined. Shortly afterward, he began advising the Trump campaign. Prior to this, he ran CNBC and was a media consultant for the Republican Party. He didn't discuss the news so much as ridicule the reporting of others. Newsmax expects to increase its television reach from 10 million to 35 million homes this summer. He played a hugely significant role in creating the nightmare we're all now inhabiting.

"Fox News is the gold standard by which everyone is measured in cable news and that is a big part of his legacy", O'Connell said.

His network would load its prime-time slots with opinionated talk-radio-style personalities while presenting news with an approach he called "fair and balanced", an indictment of the rest of the news media as excessively liberal.