Former Inquirer TV Columnist: Ailes Is ‘A Classic Tale Of A Tragic Hero’

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — His admirers, and even his critics, agree that Roger Ailes dramatically changed the media landscape, with Fox News, back in 1996.

He built the Fox network into the nation’s long-running No. 1 cable news network by creating a new paradigm for television, according to Gail Shister, the TV/Radio Columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer for 25 years, from 1982 through 2007.

“He created a new model that numerous networks have tried to copy, but no one has been as successful as he was,” Shister said.

Shister, now in her tenth year as a senior writing fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, says Ailes superbly blended politics and cable in a 24/7 format.

“He wasn’t what you would call subtle. But he certainly created a revolution, and nothing less than a revolution in television,” she said.

But, she says, his hands-on micro-management style was ultimately his Achilles heel.

“He ended up in infamy. There’s not a bio or obit of him that has been or will be written that does not include his firing, in the very first sentence,” said Shister.

Shister labels it “a classic tale of a tragic hero.” Ailes left Fox with a tarnished legacy over allegations of sexual harassment.

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