Roger Ailes is the president of Fox News Channel and chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group, and the only head of a major news-gathering organization in the United States with a background as a paid political consultant.
Ailes’ career in television began in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was a producer and director for KYW, for a then-locally produced talk-variety show, The Mike Douglas Show. He later became executive producer for the show, which was syndicated nationally. Later, Richard Nixon called on Ailes to serve as his executive producer of TV.
Ailes carried out Republican political consulting for many candidates during the 1970s and 1980s, but returned to presidential campaigning as a consultant to Ronald Reagan in 1984.
In 1993, Ailes became president of NBC’s cable channel CNBC and began planning another NBC cable channel, America’s Talking. The new channel debuted on July 4, 1994. Ailes also hosted his own nightly show, “Straight Forward”, an hour-long talk show.
After the announcement of Microsoft and NBC’s partnership to create an online and cable news outlet, MSNBC, taking the place of America’s Talking, Ailes left the network in February 1996 and was hired by Rupert Murdoch to create Fox News Channel for News Corporation.