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Roger Ailes on Gabe Sherman, Rupert Murdoch and Jeff Zucker

rogerailesfox-afpOn the same day that the first pieces of Gabe Sherman‘s book were published by The New York Times, Roger Ailes is the subject of an extensive Q+A with The Hollywood Reporter.

He weighs in on last year’s changes to the primetime lineup (“I believed, in some cases, we needed to freshen up a little bit”) and his relationship with Rupert Murdoch (“He wanders in and ruins my schedule and just wants to talk”). He also talks about his competitors and Sherman’s upcoming book:

You’re the subject of an unauthorized book, for which you declined to participate. Are you doing anything to counteract any negative elements?

Bette Davis said, I think it was Bette Davis, ‘What other people think of me is none of my business.’ Attacking me and Fox News is nothing new – it’s a cottage industry. What’s new is that Random House refused to fact check the content with me or Fox News — that tells you everything you need to know about this book and its agenda.

What do you think of Jeff Zucker saying CNN is now focused on making shows and moving away from newscasts?

I’m actually thrilled. MSNBC has [already] announced they’re out of the news business. They have several different hosts, but it’s always the same show: Republicans are no good. The NBC News people won’t get caught dead on MSNBC. They could have a traffic accident in front of the window, and they wouldn’t cover it. For CNN to also throw in the towel and announce they’re out of the news business is quite interesting. That means Fox has won the cable news wars. [Zucker] had a big hit with a whale one night [the documentary Blackfish]. I guess he’s going to do whales a lot. If I were Discovery, I’d be worried.

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