Afflicted with hemophilia, he spent much of his early years housebound and fascinated with television.
Instead, Fox feels at a crossroads. But if the law is raised by Fox or Ailes' estate, it could set back Tantaros and Roginsky, whose key claims are based on private conversations with Ailes.
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. In what biographers have said was his "Rosebud" moment, his abusive father told Roger to jump from his bunk bed into his father's arms. The Ailes formula sacrificed traditional impartial news coverage in the name of ratings and revenues for Fox News.
On Thursday morning, Roger Ailes, the founder of Fox News, died.
It's inarguable: There would be no President Trump without Chairman Ailes.
The Republican success can not be totally attributed to Ailes' network, of course, but there was broad agreement Thursday on both sides of the aisle that Ailes' conservative network was a major factor. And they don't have that right now.
As a product of a working-class OH factory town not unlike Warren, where Ailes grew up, it's not hard for me to see where he first noticed the grim vision of looming gloom that percolates at the core of "resentment TV", my description of the Fox News format Ailes created. Ailes created what became CNBC but found his patron and calling in media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
News doesn't have to be tiresome, insisted Ailes, who famously captured his view of sensationalism in his "Orchestra Pit Theory". "He was a leader, and you could see that", Papalas said.
Now it's possible to sense his absence by a lack of new ideas. The replacement show "The Specialists", created to fill a hole in the schedule left by O'Reilly, feels like a pale imitation. "Television rarely, if ever, tells the whole story", Ailes said in a 1971 a speech he titled "Candidate + Money + Media = Votes".
"When a blackmailer entered my life and the lives of my family, he held my hand and saw me to the other side", Smith said. But no one person was more at fault than Roger Ailes.
'In the years I worked with Ailes he was a great mentor, deeply patriotic, committed to Fox News and really anxious about America, ' Gingrich, a Republican, wrote on Twitter.
For many Americans, what journalism has to say for itself had taken a long road from partisan organs with names like "The Whig" (with the advertising on the front page), to those wonderful post-World War II days when Americans viewed the press as a kind of comrade-in-arms, to its apotheosis during the Watergate Scandal, to its marginalization as a creature of the economic and cultural left. O'Reilly's firing last month was the most damaging; he'd been the network's top-rated personality for most of its existence. "Trump was able to tap into that eager Fox News consumer that really bought into a lot of the things he said in the campaign".
In his 1970 memo Ailes wrote: "Today television news is watched more often than people read newspapers, than people listen to the radio, than people read or gather any other form of communication".
The rumors of Ailes' abuse had long circulated, but it was not until a New York Times investigation published past year that the flood of women came forward. More than any individual achievement, even Fox News, that endures as his legacy. To compete, Abrams led MSNBC to copy the Ailes strategy, and CNN soon followed.
How much would President Trump have been covered if he hadn't followed the Ailes formula? If nothing else, its audience was a captive Trump market. With such deft jujitsu, he leveraged viewers' distrust for the media while positioning his networks as the anti-media news-media alternative - and he their upright overlord.
"He just felt very passionate about what he was doing", Chandler said.