Lightning-Rod Legacy Lives On For ‘Media Genius’ Roger Ailes

Roger Ailes was mired in controversy and a sexual harassment scandal at the end of his life, but few would deny he forever changed the news business and the national political climate when he launched Fox News Channel in 1996, guiding it from its infancy into an iconic brand and ratings juggernaut.

Ailes’ background in both television and politics fueled his reputation as a “media genius,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist who appears frequently on Fox News and the Fox Business Network.

“Fox News is the gold standard by which everyone is measured in cable news and that is a big part of his legacy,” O’Connell said. “But what’s more amazing is how he was a pioneer, trailblazer and media genius who shaped America’s media landscape for the past 30 years.”

“Dislike the guy or like the guy, know him or not know him, what you can’t dispute is that he was the undisputed king,” O’Connell said.

Ailes, 77, died yesterday morning from complications of a subdural hematoma after falling and injuring his head at his Palm Beach mansion. His legacy may be forever tainted by scandal, but his undeniable impact on the industry will survive him.

Read more from Jessica Heslam at the Boston Herald

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