The Fox News Channel President is reportedly in contract negotiation with News Corp. for a new multiyear deal. His contract doesn’t expire until next summer, but Ailes’s personal lawyer, Peter Johnson, a frequent Fox News contributor and sometime guest host, is talking with Murdoch associates about the terms of a new deal, reports NY Magazine.
From the story:
No deal has yet been reached. One source familiar with the talks speculated that, given Fox’s record profits, Ailes could ask for a mega deal, worth more than $30 million per year. But another source close to Ailes explained that, for Ailes, signing a new deal is not only about the money. Ailes has to figure out what he wants to do next. But money is surely a consideration: Ailes is a guy who likes to keep score. And at News Corp., he’s the third-highest-paid executive, behind Rupert Murdoch and COO Chase Carey. This week, it was announced Ailes made $21.1 million last year. With Fox News on track to earn $1 billion in profit, it’s certain Ailes would want the biggest contract of his life. At 72, Ailes is keenly aware of his legacy.
Whether Murdoch accedes to his terms is an open question. But Ailes has significant leverage. For one thing, the pending breakup of News Corp., and the ongoing hacking scandal, means that Fox News will be the financial cornerstone of the newly independent television and movie-centric company. Fox News generated about 40 percent of News Corp.’s profits last year, and those profits have translated into more control for Ailes. At News Corp., executives describe Ailes’s relationship to Murdoch as entrepreneur to investor rather than employee to boss. But one limiting factor on Ailes securing the epic payday he wants would be the fact that Murdoch and News Corp. COO Chase Carey earned $30 million and $24.8 million last year, respectively. It’s hard to see Murdoch paying Ailes more.