Thursday, July 10, 2008

Riding High With Fox News, Murdoch Aide Has Harder Slog - WSJ.com

After Riding High With Fox News, Murdoch Aide Has Harder Slog - WSJ.com
Using a similar approach, he has since taken on a more prominent role at News Corp. -- including running the company's local television stations -- but the results aren't as impressive. Accustomed to operating his own fiefdom, Mr. Ailes has ruffled feathers among other executives. He has started a new TV network, called MyNetworkTV, but it hasn't shown much sign of life amid a broader slump in the local-TV business. Meanwhile, ratings at Fox News are declining faster than those of its competitors and its advertising-sales growth is slowing.

Mr. Ailes's independent streak contributed to the decision last year of Rupert Murdoch's son and heir apparent, Lachlan Murdoch, to quit the company. The younger Murdoch felt Mr. Ailes was undercutting his position, according to people close to the situation.

His style has even affected News Corp.'s relations with other media companies. Executives at CBS Corp., frustrated with the slow pace of negotiations between the two, didn't tell Mr. Ailes they planned to shutter CBS's UPN network, which ran on 10 News Corp. stations, until 10 minutes before the January news conference.

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