Eugene Ailes is one of television's most versatile, outspoken, and
successful producers and consultants. He has been described as "the
amusingly ferocious Republican media genius" and a "pit-bull Republican
media strategist turned television tycoon." He has had a variety
of careers, including producer of television shows, Shakespearean
plays, and Off-Broadway, and president of the cable television channels
CNBC and America's Talking.
career in television began in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was a producer
and director for KYW-TV, for a then-locally produced talk-variety
show, The Mike Douglas Show. He later became executive producer
for The Mike Douglas Show, which syndicated nationally. He
received two Emmy Awards for The Mike Douglas Show (1967,
1968). It was in this position, in 1967, that he had a spirited
discussion about television in politics with one of the show's guests,
Richard Nixon, who took the view that television was a gimmick.
Later, Nixon called on Ailes to serve as his executive producer
of TV. Nixon's election victory was only Ailes' first venture into
founded Ailes Communications, Inc., in New York in 1969, and consulted
for various businesses and politicians, including WCBS-TV in New
York. He also tried his hand in theater production with the Broadway
musical Mother Earth (1972) and the off-Broadway hit play
Hot-L Baltimore (1973-76), for which Ailes received 4 Obie
Awards. He was executive producer for a television special The
Last Frontier in 1974. He produced and directed a television
special, Feiini: Wizards, Clowns and Honest Liars, for which
he received an Emmy Award nomination in 1977.
carried out political consulting for many candidates during the
1970s and 1980s, but returned to presidential campaigning as a consultant
to Ronald Reagan in 1984. He is widely credited with having coached
Ronald Reagan to victory in the second presidential debate with
Walter Mondale after Reagan had disappointed his partisans with
a lackluster effort in the first debate. In 1984, Ailes won an Emmy
Award as executive producer and director of a television special,
Television and the Presidency. In 1988, Ailes wrote a book
with Jon Kraushar, You Are the Message: Secrets of the Master
Communicators, in which he discusses some of his philosophies
and strategies for successful performance in the public media eye.
also won acclaim for his work in the 1988 presi-dential election,
in which he helped guide George Bush to a come-from-behind victory
over Michael Dukakis. He did not work on the losing 1992 Bush campaign
against Bill Clinton. In 1991, Ailes convinced a syndicator to bring
Rush Limbaugh from radio to television and became exec-utive producer
of the late-night show. He announced his withdrawal from political
consulting in 1992.
1993, Ailes became president of NBC's cable channel CNBC and began
planning another NBC cable channel, America's Talking. The new channel
debuted on 4 July 1994. Ailes also hosts his own nightly show, Straight
For-wareL Since Ailes took over at CNBC, ratings have increased
50% and profits have tripled.
(EUGENE) AILES. Born in Warren, Ohio, U.S.A., 15 May 1940. Graduated
from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, BA. 1962. Began television career
as property assistant, The Mike Douglas Show, KYW-TV, Cleveland,
Ohio, 1962; producer, 1965; executive producer, 1967-68; media adviser
to Richard M. Nixon Presidential Campaign, 1968; founder Ailes Communication,
a media production and consulting firm, 1969; producer, Broadway
plays, Mother Earth, 1972, Hot-L Baltimore, 1973-76;
producer, various television specials, 1974-82; media Consultant,
Ronald Reagan Presidential Campaign, 1984; George W. Bush Presidential
Campaign, 1988; various senatorial and Congressional campaigns;
president, CNBC, cable television network, 1993-96; president and
program host, America's Talking, and all-talk cable television network,
1994-96; chair and chief executive officer of FOX News and the FOX
News Channel, from January 1996. Honorary Doctorate, Ohio University.
Recipient: Obie Award, Best Off-BroadwayShow, 1973; EmmyAward, 1984.
Phot courtesy of CNBC
An All-Star Tribute to Our Troops (producer)
Style: Charisma in a Court Counts." The National Law Journal
(New York), 21 July 1986. You Are the Message. Garden City, New
York: Doubleday, 1987.
"The Importance of Being Likeable." Reader's Digest (Pleasantville,
New York), May 1988. "Sam and Diane: Give 'em Time." Advertising
Age (New York), 21 August 1989.
to Make a Good Impression." Reader's Digest (Pleasantville,
New York), September 1989.
Few Kind Words for Presenter Tip O'Neill." Advertising Age
(New York), 8 January 1990.
Told the Truth...Occasionally." Adweek's Marketing Week (New
York), 29 January 1990.
to Make an Audience Love You." Working Woman (New York),
Strategy." Time (New York), 11 May 1992.
"Lighten Up! Stuffed Shirts Have Short Careers." Newsweek
(New York), 18 May 1992.
Fred. "Pulling the Strings." The New Republic (Washington,
D.C.), 22 February 1988.
Patrick L. "Contrasts in Presidential Campaign Commercials of 1988."
American Behavioral Scientist (Princeton, New Jersey), March-April
Nancy. "Roger Ailes: Embracing the Enemy." New York Times Magazine
(New York), 8 January 1995.
Stuart. "Roger Ailes Hits TV with a Rush." Variety (Los Angeles,
California), 21 June 1991.
Michael. "Roger Ailes Fixed CNBC, But Now Ted Turner Looms." Business
Week (New York), 3 July 1995.
Leo C. "Refereeing the TV Campaign." Washington Journalism
Review (Washington, D.C.), January-February 1991.