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Roger Ailes, media guru and political strategist, dies at 77

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/18/2017 By FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer
FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2015, file photo, Roger Ailes attends a special screening of "Kingsman: The Secret Service" in New York. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2015, file photo, Roger Ailes attends a special screening of "Kingsman: The Secret Service" in New York. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) —           Roger Ailes (aylz), who transformed TV news by creating Fox News Channel, only to be ousted at the height of his reign for alleged sexual harassment, died Thursday, Fox News reported. He was 77.

FILE - In this Jan. 30, 1996 file photo, Roger Ailes, left, speaks at a news conference as Rupert Murdoch looks on after it was announced that Ailes will be chairman and CEO of Fox News. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Jan. 30, 1996 file photo, Roger Ailes, left, speaks at a news conference as Rupert Murdoch looks on after it was announced that Ailes will be chairman and CEO of Fox News. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

          A former GOP operative to candidates including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Ailes later turned his media savvy to running TV networks. In early 1996 he accepted a challenge from media titan Rupert Murdoch to build a news network from scratch to compete with CNN.

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2006 file photo, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes poses at Fox News in New York. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Jim Cooper, file) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2006 file photo, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes poses at Fox News in New York. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Jim Cooper, file)

          That October, Ailes flipped the switch on Fox News Channel. It became the audience leader in cable news. It also emerged as a powerful force on the political scene, while the feisty, hard-charging Ailes swatted off criticism that the network he branded as "Fair and Balanced" had a conservative tilt.

FILE - In this July 24, 2006 file photo, Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News, listens as anchor Shepard Smith, seen on screens in front and behind him, as Smith talks to the audience via satellite from Israel, at the Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) © The Associated Press FILE - In this July 24, 2006 file photo, Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News, listens as anchor Shepard Smith, seen on screens in front and behind him, as Smith talks to the audience via satellite from Israel, at the Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

          He was abruptly dismissed from Fox News in July 2016 in the wake of a lawsuit filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson accusing Ailes of sexual improprieties.

FILE - In this Aug. 17, 1988 file photo, Vice President George H.W. Bush, left, gets some advice from his media advisor, Roger Ailes, right, as they stand behind the podium at the Superdome in New Orleans, La., prior to the start of the Republican National Convention. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Aug. 17, 1988 file photo, Vice President George H.W. Bush, left, gets some advice from his media advisor, Roger Ailes, right, as they stand behind the podium at the Superdome in New Orleans, La., prior to the start of the Republican National Convention. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds) FILE - In this July 24, 2006 file photo, Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News, speaks during the Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) © The Associated Press FILE - In this July 24, 2006 file photo, Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News, speaks during the Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
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