Roger Ailes, the former Republican political operative who oversaw the creation of the Fox News Channel and turned it into the leading voice of American conservatism, is expected to be removed from his position at the network amid a budding sexual harassment scandal, according to multiple reports.

Ailes, 76, has been chairman and chief executive of Fox from its inception in 1996, and he is often described as one of the most powerful figures in American media and politics. Under his guidance, Fox News grew into a pugnacious and popular news and opinion source, far surpassing the pioneering and more centrist CNN in ratings and profits.

The Drudge Report on Tuesday first broke the news of Ailes’ expected departure, without citing a source; it briefly posted a document that appeared to be parent company 21st Century Fox’s settlement agreement with Ailes. Shortly afterward, 21st Century Fox released a statement reading: “Roger is at work. The review is ongoing. The only agreement that is in place is his existing employment agreement.”

The Washington Post could not independently confirm the authenticity of the document posted by Drudge.

Tuesday’s flurry of events came just two weeks after Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit alleging that Ailes had sexually harassed her during her 11-year career at Fox. Carlson alleged that Ailes terminated her employment in June after she spurned his advances; Fox maintained that Carlson’s contract wasn’t renewed because her program ratings had declined.

The lawsuit appears to have set off a chain of events that led to demands for Ailes’ resignation from his bosses, media baron Rupert Murdoch and his sons, Lachlan and James. Amid an investigation of Ailes’ conduct by an outside law firm, other Fox employees came forward with sexual-harassment allegations against Ailes.

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