Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of FOX News, gave the Roy H. Park Distinguished Lecture at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication on April 12 in the Carroll Hall auditorium on the UNC campus.
After the talk, UNC student journalists Eliza Kern, managing editor of reesenews.org, and Steven Norton, editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel, interviewed Ailes on stage.
Ailes created FOX News in 1996, leading its rise to become the nation’s most watched news channel within six years. FOX News now reaches more than 90 million homes.
Prior to FOX, Ailes was president of CNBC. Under his leadership, CNBC became the fastest-growing major cable network in America. Ratings more than tripled and profits increased from $9 million to more than $100 million.
At age 25, Ailes rose from prop boy to executive producer of “The Mike Douglas Show.” Under his supervision, the show won its first Emmy in 1967 and became the most-watched syndicated talk show in America. From 1970-92, he owned Ailes Communications Inc., a consulting company with clients that included three U.S. Presidents, several senators, governors and Fortune 500 CEOs. In 1992, Ailes retired from political and corporate consulting to return to television.
He is a past winner of The Media Institute’s Freedom of Speech Award, the Radio and Television News Directors Association First Amendment Leadership Award, the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Broadcasting & Cable’s Television Journalist of the Year, Advertising Age’s TV Marketer of the Year, the Navy SEAL Patriot Award and John Reagan (Tex) McCrary Award for Excellence in Journalism presented by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Television Week (formerly Electronic Media) has named him the Most Powerful Person in TV News four times. U.S. News & World Report recognized Ailes as one of America’s Best Leaders in 2005. He is a member of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.
Ailes is a native of Warren, Ohio, and a graduate of Ohio University.
The Roy H. Park Distinguished Lecture Series brings outstanding professionals to campus each year to enrich the educational experience of UNC journalism undergraduate and graduate students, and presents speakers of interest to the campus and beyond. The Triad Foundation of Ithaca, N.Y., sponsors the series in honor of Roy H. Park, the founder, chairman and CEO of Park Communications Inc., which became an expansive multimedia company with broadcast and print properties throughout the U.S. The Triad Foundation also funds the prestigious Roy H. Park Fellowship Program that funds graduate students in the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication.