UPDATE, 11:45 AM: News Corp has made this official with a press release. See below.
PREVIOUS, 10:55 AM: In addition to leading cable’s politically conservative news channel, the new deal will keep Roger Ailes at Fox Business, the Fox station group, and first-run syndication unit Twentieth Television, Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz reports on Twitter. Although Ailes’ previous deal lasted until next summer, he was widely believed to be negotiating a high-priced renewal. Indeed, one report said he was angling for at least $30M a year, far more than his $21.1M package for the fiscal year that ended in June and even ahead of COO Chase Carey’s $24.8M. Ailes has a strong hand to play now: Profits from Fox News will be especially critical for News Corp next year after it spins off its publishing operations including Dow Jones. People close to the 72-year-old former GOP political consultant had hinted that he might turn the page and either retire or try something different — he said last year that he’d like to run the Cleveland Indians. New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman, who’s writing a book about Ailes and Fox News, wrote last month that the news network “is his kingdom, and he rules over the operation unchallenged. He has yet to publicly designate a successor. And his competitive streak provides plenty of drive for him to keep the ratings numbers juiced.”
NEW YORK – October 19, 2012 – News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) today announced that Roger Ailes has signed a new four-year contract to continue serving as Chairman & CEO of Fox News, and Chairman of Fox Television Stations. Mr. Ailes, who first joined News Corporation in 1996, will continue to oversee Fox News, Fox Television Stations (FTS), Fox Business Network (FBN), Twentieth Television and MyNetwork TV. He will also continue in his role as a senior advisor to Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch on television and news matters. In October 1996, Mr. Ailes launched Fox News Channel, which today is one of the top cable networks in the industry.