Roger Ailes’ last wish before he died was for his allies to create a conservative network to the right of Fox News, Axios reported on Wednesday.
Ailes was reportedly upset with the more moderate tilt to Fox News under the leadership of Rupert Murdoch’s two sons, James and Lachlan.
Axios reported that in the days before his death, Ailes reached out to White House chief strategist Steve Bannon about teaming up to form a new conservative media machine in the mould of Fox News. Bannon reportedly had “no desire to leave the White House.” Prior to assuming his position in the White House and on Trump’s campaign, Bannon spearheaded the right-wing website Breitbart News.
The network has also seen a slew of high-profile departures over the last year, beginning with Ailes’ ouster last summer amid sexual harassment claims from several female employees at the network.
After Ailes’ departure, former primetime host Megyn Kelly left Fox News for NBC News. Then in April, the network’s top-rated anchor, Bill O’Reilly, was forced to leave in the wake of a barrage of sexual harassment allegations against him.
After O’Reilly’s departure, network co-president Bill Shine was also forced to resign. Shine spearheaded the network’s programming sector and was a staunch defender of O’Reilly. He sided with O’Reilly when Kelly said O’Reilly criticised her for speaking out about the sexual harassment she said she faced from Ailes.
Following the string of high-profile departures, there was also speculation that another star Fox host, Sean Hannity, who vehemently defended Shine, may leave the network. Hannity has stayed put, but he recently faced a controversy of his own after he promoted an unfounded conspiracy theory about the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.
NOW WATCH: Watch Trump appear to push NATO’s newest leader as he makes his way to the front of the pack
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.