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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly
The Big Book

Fox News and Roger Ailes ‘reversed the economics of TV news’

Kai Ryssdal Jan 16, 2014
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Fox News and Roger Ailes aren’t uncontroversial things to talk about. And we know you’ll have some feedback on this interview. Click the button to right and give us your opinion — in your own voice:

As one surveys the American corporate landscape, there are few CEOs out there as successful, influential, or powerful as Roger Ailes, the founder and president of Fox News.

He started in daytime television with Mike Douglas, back in the 1960s, got into politics with then-presidential candidate Richard Nixon, and since starting Fox News in 1996, has built it into a multi-billion dollar business and a huge political force.

Gabriel Sherman covers the media for New York magazine and is the author of “The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News and Divided a Country.” Sherman says he interviewed 600 sources for his book, but Ailes was not one of them.

“He has reversed the economics of the TV business by revolutionizing how TV is packaged. By using politics he’s figured out a business model that has allowed his network to generate twice the ratings of his competitors, CNN and MSNBC. His profits exceed all of cable news and the broadcast evening news networks combined, so as a business story it is an unparalleled success.”

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