Roger Ailes quits as Fox News chief after sexual harassment accusations

Roger Ailes' departure is effective immediately

Roger Ailes quits as Fox News chief after sexual harassment accusations

After a 20-year career in the organisation, Roger Ailes has resigned as the chairman of cable news channel Fox News following the allegation of sexual harassment by a number of female employees.

21st Century Fox, the network's parent company, announced his resignation on Thursday.

Ailes' resignation comes weeks after he was accused by former Fox 5 reporter Gretchen Carlson of having taken reprisals against her, including reducing her salary, after she refused to have sexual relations with him, EFE news reported.

"Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country. Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organisation and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years," Rupert Murdoch, who will take over immediately as chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, said in a communique.

In addition to the complaint presented by Carlson, this week Fox News channel anchor Megyn Kelly, who on July 12 said she had also been the victim of "unwanted sexual advances" by Ailes approximately 10 years ago.

After this latest revelation, 21st Century Fox launched an internal investigation and Ailes received an ultimatum from the corporate lawyers to resign before August 1 or be fired for justifiable cause.

Murdoch made no reference to these accusations or to the alleged ultimatum presented by the company to Ailes in the statement released on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Ailes, 76 and the network's CEO since 1996, said in a communique sent to channel WNBC that Fox had become the No. 1 television network "because I consistently identified and promoted the most talented men and women in television, and they performed at the highest levels."

"I will not allow my presence to become a distraction from the work that must be done every day to ensure that Fox News and Fox Business continue to lead our industry," he said.

The severance terms agreed to between Fox and Ailes were not disclosed.