The head of the Fox News Channel, the most successful but controversial fiefdom in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, has come under fire from a member of the News Corp chairman’s own family.
Matthew Freud, who is married to Elisabeth, Mr Murdoch’s second daughter, told the New York Times he was “ashamed and sickened by Roger Ailes’s horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards that News Corporation, its founder and every other global media business aspires to”.
Fox News referred questions to News Corp, which issued a statement saying: “Matthew Freud’s opinions are his own and in no way reflect the views of Rupert Murdoch, who is proud of Roger Ailes and Fox News.”
Mr Freud, a public relations executive whose London parties attract politicians from Tony Blair to David Cameron, prefaced his comment by saying he was “by no means alone within the family or the company” in his views. Contacted on Sunday, he declined to elaborate.
The strongly-worded remark, made in a profile of Mr Ailes that highlighted the growing profitability and political influence of Fox News, reignited perennial speculation about possible changes at News Corp when control of the media group eventually passes to Mr Murdoch’s children.