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How Rupert Murdoch spent his first day at Fox News in post-Ailes era

MUMBAI: How did Rupert Murdoch spend his first day after taking charge at Fox News? In the post-Roger Ailes era, will Fox News continue with its old slant of news and dominance over ratings?

Murdoch began his day by taking part in the channel’s 9.30 am editorial meeting, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The 85-year-old, who assumed the title of interim CEO of Fox News, is said to have led the meeting and raised the employee morale.

Rupert-MurdochWhile addressing staffers, Murdoch admitted that the company was going through a difficult and painful time. Many employees openly expressed sadness over Ailes’ departure, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Known as the man who owns news, Murdoch will spend initial time getting familiar with the day-to-day operations of Fox News.

In carrying out his role, he will depend on present Fox News executives like Jay Wallace who was promoted to executive VP of news and editorial in April.

Others on whom he is likely to depend are CFO Mark Kranz and Bill Shine, a long-time Fox News executive who runs prime-time programming and oversees Fox Business Network. Shine is even said to be in the running for the permanent CEO position, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

As observers watch the impending transition, all eyes are on Lachlan and James Murdoch, and what they could do next.

Michael Wolff, who authored the 2008 Rupert Murdoch biography, ‘The Man Who Owns the News’, told a TV channel, “The boys moved against him [Mr Ailes]”.

“They didn’t like him. They tried to get rid of him for 10 years, and they have made a series of assaults against him, but he had beaten them back. This is not about sexual harassment. This is about a power grab within the company. It is essentially a coup within the company. The sons outmanoeuvred Ailes,” Wolff said.

Fox News is an important piece of the 21st Century Fox empire and continues to deliver over $1 billion profit annually.

Sans Ailes, Lachlan and James Murdoch will want to take control of Fox News after the dust settles down.