Roger Ailes' 5-year contract renewal may seem like obvious news to the casual media-watcher — the network maintains significant ratings leads over its competition and Ailes has been the network's architect since its founding — but at least one industry insider predicted Ailes' exit earlier this year.
Writing for the industry website JackMyers.com, an influential commentary newsletter in the advertising community (and one that often cross-posts its columns here on Huffington Post), Charlie Warner reasoned why it would make sense that Rupert Murdoch would boot Ailes from the network's top job.
"It makes sense. Murdoch is no dummy and he sees the shift in the country's tastes and mood," Warner wrote. "The wily Murdoch is the ultimate pragmatist. He sees that the country is fed up with the Bush-Cheney-Rove war, corruption, big-business favoritism, neo-conservative idealism, and economic incompetence."
Thus, Warner, concluded, "FOX News, which Roger Ailes created and still heads, has had its run, as has George Bush, but like all entertainment programming, FOX News's novelty and divisive personalities have worn thin and people want (yes that word again) change."
In light of the news that Ailes' contract was renewed yesterday — first reported by the Huffington Post — some in the business are questioning Warner's and Myers' credibility as industry forecasters. TVNewser wrote that Warner's "gossip" was "[ripped] to shreds." A spokesperson for FOX News responded to Warner's post on Jack Myers, saying, "You would think with all the talented writers looking for work that Jack Myers would actually have people with contacts from this century working for him."
Myers made the following statement to Huffington Post:
The post at MediaBizBloggers.com related to Roger Ailes was the personal opinion of Charlie Warner and did not reflect my opinion. It also ran independently at Huffington Post and I am sure Huffington Post editors are not assumed to share or be responsible for the opinions of bloggers. I have great respect for Roger, who is a personal friend and I personally did not agree with Charlie's prediction. Roger has done and continues to do excellent work and is an important leader in our industry. All our MediaBizBloggers are completely free to voice their own opinions without censorship.
Disclosure: Warner's post also appeared on the Huffington Post.