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Noam Galai/Getty Images for GIFF(NEW YORK) -- A day after Roger Ailes stepped down as chairman of Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations, the attorney behind the lawsuit that kicked off the scandal claims that Ailes’ alleged harassment goes back decades.

Ailes, who has denied the claims against him, resigned from his post at the top of Fox News yesterday weeks after former network anchorwomen Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against him alleging that he “sabotaged” her career because she “refused his sexual advances” and that she was fired for rebuffing him and complaining to him about sexual harassment.

Carlson’s lawyer, Nancy Smith, told ABC News Friday that the lawsuit was still pending, and noted that since it was filed, several women have come forward with their own allegations.

“I’ve spoken to women in every decade since the '60s who have been harassed by Roger Ailes -- well up into the 2000s and up to 2010,” she said. “For some, it’s quite traumatic.”

The lawyer also said that her client’s position could be improved because of Ailes’ rapid exit.

“A jury could definitely draw some conclusions by Mr. Ailes’ quick departure,” she said. “Our case continues.”

Ailes, who had overseen the network since its inception two decades ago, resigned effective immediately earlier this week, saying in a letter to his boss that he would “not allow [his] presence to become a distraction from the work that must be done every day to ensure that Fox News and Fox Business continue to lead our industry.”

Ailes’ boss, Rupert Murdoch, assumed control of Fox News as chairman and acting CEO.

Smith said that she and Carlson were “surprised” by the resignation and never imagined it happening so fast, saying “we were in it for the long haul.”

She said that Carlson’s legal team had not shared evidence from their case with investigators who were conducting an internal review for Fox News, suggesting that Ailes’ resignation was based on what was learned in the internal investigation.

Requests for comment to Ailes’ lawyer, Susan Estrich, were not immediately returned. Fox News did not immediately return ABC News' request for comment.

However, in the past, Ailes has said that “Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup.”

In response to Smith’s claim that other women have made similar allegations against Ailes, his outside counsel, Barry Asen, told New York magazine earlier this month: "It has become obvious that Ms. Carlson and her lawyer are desperately attempting to litigate this in the press because they have no legal case to argue. The latest allegations, all 30 to 50 years old, are false."

Carlson’s case will return to court on Aug. 15, when it is expected that a decision will be made over whether the case will be heard in New York or New Jersey.

Ailes’ immediate future was not clear.

A corporate source previously told ABC News that the former chairman will be available as an informal adviser to Murdoch, but would not be advising Fox News directly nor would he be a regular fixture inside the organization. That source was speaking on the condition of anonymity, because the source was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Stocks hit their fourth straight week of gains after closing in the green on Friday.

The Dow closed up 53.56 ( 0.29 percent) to finish at 18,570.79.

The Nasdaq gained 26.26 ( 0.52 percent) to close at 5,100.16, while the S&P 500 closed at 2,175.03, up 9.86 ( 0.46 percent) from its open to hit a new record.

Crude oil dropped over 1 percent with prices hitting about $44 a barrel.

Yahoo: Verizon is reportedly close to a deal acquiring Yahoo's internet business, according to the Wall Street Journal. There were no specifics given in the report, but sources told WSJ that terms could be reached within days. The news helped push Yahoo's stock up over 1 percent at the close.

American Airlines: American Airlines' shares soared over 4 percent after beating experts' expectations on profit in the second-quarter, helped by cheaper fuel, but still falling 44 percent from a year ago. The airline reported earning $950 million for $1.77 earnings per share in quarter two.

Nintendo: Nintendo's stock continued to enjoy its rally after the wildly successful Pokemon Go mobile game was finally released in Japan, where Pokemon originated in the 1990's. The launch was paired with a McDonald's sponsorship deal including Pokemon-themed meals.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Thieves are using a simple scam to steal cellphones from unsuspecting strangers -- and one eatery allegedly caught the trick on camera.

After numerous customers at Chicago's Popeyes-Gold Coast Dogs restaurant complained about lost cellphones, the manager checked his surveillance video.

In one instance, the video showed a man eating alone at a table with his cellphone resting nearby. Two young men then walk into the restaurant, pull fliers out from under their shirts and then approach the man who was eating.

In the video, they cover the phone with the papers as they speak briefly to him. Moments later, the pair leave, allegedly taking the man's cellphone with them. The man can be seen on the video lifting his tray, trying to figure out what happened to his phone.

"I think it's kind of sad that this is now our new normal that we have to be extra, extra, extra cautious with our belongings," Bridgette Gilbert, a customer at the restaurant, told WLS-TV, an ABC News affiliate in Chicago.

The manager of the eatery told WLS-TV that he'd fine-tuned his cameras after he'd heard from police about similar crimes being committed at area restaurants.

According to Consumer Reports, more than 2 million cellphones were stolen in 2014.

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iStock/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- The wait is finally over in Japan.

On Friday, Japanese Pokemon fans were able to play the wildly successful "Pokemon Go" mobile game where Pokemon first originated in the 1990's.

The launch of the app, released in the U.S. a few weeks ago, is partnered with a McDonalds sponsorship deal selling Pokemon-themed meals in Japan.

Japanese officials issued warnings for the gamers ahead of the release including asking them to use unique names and to stay away from "dangerous zones" while playing, according to the Japan Times.

"I want people to abide by the warning so that people can play it on smartphones safely," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Thursday, according to BBC.

The global success of Pokemon Go has helped Nintendo's stock price more than double since the release.

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Patrick Marsden(NEW YORK) -- One travel lover got super creative when it came to proposing to his girlfriend of four years.

Patrick Marsden told ABC News he and his girlfriend Molly Beucher love to travel. So before getting on a flight from Washington, D.C., to Sao Paulo, Brazil, he contacted United Airlines to get some help to pull off a mile-high proposal using a fake in-flight video.

"I knew that I wanted to do some travel-themed proposal," Marsden, 32, said of his inspiration. "Like all great decisions, it occurred to me in the bath."

After contacting customer service for permission, he and his close friends filmed a video matching the airline's YouTube video promoting its in-flight dining options.

In the video posted by the airline Thursday, Marsden pops up unexpectedly onscreen and says, "As you might have worked out by now this isn't actually a video about your in-flight dining options. What it is is a fairly elaborate way to ask a question that I've been wanting to ask you for quite some time."

"It was the last place she'd expect it," Marsden said of his plan.

Marsden recalled that 10 minutes before the flight, he "got very nervous." Still, the video worked!

Beucher, 29, is seen cupping her mouth in surprise in the heartwarming video. She eventually says yes and passengers, along with the cabin crew, applaud.

The two celebrated by sharing champagne on the plane ride to Brazil. "It was very festive," Marsden added.

The Santa Monica, California, man said he's looking forward to marrying Beucher in Havana, Cuba, next spring. He added that he's looking forward to "even more laughter and travel."

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Victoria Transport Accident Commission(VICTORIA, Australia) -- What he lacks in looks, he makes up for in evolutionary prowess. Meet Graham, the "only person designed to survive" a car crash.

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) of Victoria, Australia, spearheaded Graham's creation. An artist collaborated with a trauma surgeon and a crash investigation expert to create "an interactive lifelike sculpture ... designed with bodily features that might be present in humans if they had evolved to withstand the forces involved in crashes," according to a news release.

Among the features are an enlarged skull, a flat fatty face, and a rib cage replete with "sacks" to function like an airbag.

TAC officials hope Graham will help people understand the importance of designing safer roadways.

"Cars have evolved a lot faster than humans and Graham helps us understand why we need to improve every aspect of our roads system to protect ourselves from our own mistakes,” TAC chief executive Joe Calafiore said in a statement.

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Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Don’t adjust your monitor -- you’re reading this right: the VCR is dead. Or, it’s soon to be.

For those of you who may have fond -- or not-so-fond -- memories of the video cassette recorder, Friday is a day to feel old and wallow in VCR nostalgia that younger generations will only experience through stories of the device that changed TV viewing habits for those who had been at the mercy of broadcast schedules.

The last VCR is set to be produced in Japan by the end of the month, according to the BBC. A company called Funai Electric -- which has been producing VCRs for 33 years -- will cease production, the BBC reported, citing the Japanese newspaper Nikkei.

VCRs were the way videos were watched at home before DVDs and streaming video services reigned supreme.

Funai produced only 750,000 units last year, which sounds like a lot, but when compared to the 15 million units per year that it reportedly sold at the technology’s peak popularity, isn’t all that much.

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ABC News(CLEVELAND) — Brushing shoulders with lawmakers, voting on rules about how the country conducts its democracy, witnessing history in the making...attending a national convention as a party delegate can be a once in a lifetime opportunity for political junkies.

But it costs a pretty penny.

Several delegates at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland told ABC News they had to budget around $3,000 to $4,000 for the week. Eric Rohback from Washington State said a few people “deserved a spot, but declined to run due to family budget restraints.”

For security and transportation reasons, planning committees for both the RNC and Democratic National Convention requested that each state delegation stay at specifically assigned hotels where they had reserved blocks of rooms. The costs of those rooms, according to delegates, range from $300 to over $800 a night.

“I think everyone kind of has sticker shock,” said Christine Pellegrino, a Bernie Sanders delegate from Long Island, New York, who is attending the DNC next week. “We’re the 99. We are not the 1 percent, that is for sure.”

“For a lot of us, it is a heavy lift,” she added.

Pellegrino is staying at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia, which was officially assigned to the New York delegation. The cost at the Loews, according several members of the state’s delegation, is approximately $500/night before tax.

Another New York delegate, Virginia Ramos Rios, said she thought local hotels had gouged prices. “I was surprised that the party, which is a national organization, had not negotiated better group rates considering that they have guaranteed occupancy,” Ramos Rios said.

She is taking the train from New York and budgeting $3,000 for the whole trip. Like many cash-strapped delegates, she started a GoFundMe webpage to crowdsource funds for the trip. So far, she has raised over $2,000.

In May, network engineer Raymond Barun launched the site adoptaberniedelegate.com that linked to fundraising websites for almost half the senator’s delegates. He said the majority of folks were budgeting between $3,000 to $5,000 for the convention, but for delegates arriving from Guam and Puerto Rico, the total cost could be as much as $10,000 for the week.

“These people are taking on debt to participate in the process,” Barun said. “We try to put out the proverbial fire. We see this problem with fundraising and said, ‘Let’s get a site up that aggregates all of these fundraising links.’”

Yamina Roland, a Sanders delegate traveling from California, is planning to stay with a friend in Philadelphia to save money.

“I don’t understand how you can leverage a block of rooms for thousands of people and the best rate you can come up with is $700 a night,” Roland said. “That is even bad business for, like, Trump. I think it was definitely done to keep those of out who are not establishment politicians or even die-hard loyalist Democrats.”

Many delegates are sharing rooms to save money, and some are missing work or taking vacation time to attend the conference.

Alma Hernandez, a Clinton delegate from Tucson, Arizona, agreed that money had played a big role in the delegate process.

“I think it’s a little unfortunate that some people are unable to go because they don’t have the funds for it,” Hernandez said, who also set up a fundraising page. “I wish that other people had the opportunity.”

Morgan Finkelstein, a spokesperson for the DNC, told ABC News in a statement: “We understand and appreciate the commitment that all of our delegates make to the nominating convention. Over the last three cycles in particular the internet has lowered the bar for participation by making it easier for potential delegates to get their message out and to leverage tools for crowd funding to help them perform this vital role.”
 
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Photo by Wesley Mann/FOX News via Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes has resigned from the company effective immediately, 21st Century Fox announced in a press release.

According to the release, Rupert Murdoch will take over as chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.

“Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country," said Murdoch. "Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years."

He added: "I am personally committed to ensuring that Fox News remains a distinctive, powerful voice."

Ailes' resignation comes after former anchor Gretchen Carlson, a mainstay of the network for 11 years, left Fox News on June 23 and shortly afterward filed a lawsuit against her former boss. In it, she alleges that Ailes had “sabotaged” her career after she “refused his sexual advances,” and that her job was terminated in retaliation for rebuffing him and complaining to him about sexual harassment.

Fox News and Ailes have denied Carlson's allegations in the past.

"Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network's decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup. When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit.”

In a letter sent to Rupert Murdoch Thursday, Ailes said that "having spent 20 years building this historic business, I will not allow my presence to become a distraction from the work that must be done every day to ensure that Fox News and Fox Business continue to lead our industry." Ailes also noted that he looked forward to working with Murdoch as an adviser.

Rupert Murdoch's sons, Lachlan and James, who are 21st Century Fox's executive chairman and CEO, respectively, said of Ailes' resignation: "We join our father in recognizing Roger’s remarkable contributions to our company.... We continue our commitment to maintaining a work environment based on trust and respect. We take seriously our responsibility to uphold these traditional, long-standing values of our company.”

Fox News is owned by 21st Century Fox.

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JaysonPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The roller coaster on Wall Street continued Thursday, as the markets followed Wednesday gains by giving most of them back.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 77.80 to a close of 18517.23.

The Nasdaq ended the session at 5073.90, down 16.03 from its open, while the S&P 500 lost 7.85, closing at 2165.17.

That despite a drop in jobless claims Thursday morning. The Labor Department's weekly report showed just 253,000 Americans claimed unemployment benefits for the first time. The figure marked the 72nd consecutive week that the figure was below 300,000 -- the longest such streak since 1973.

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LDProd/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- "Pokemon Go" players have been taking the catchphrase "Gotta catch 'em all!" to a new level.

It's been only two weeks since the game first launched, but dozens of bizarre incidents involving the game have already been reported.

Players have found a dead body, kayaked in the middle of the ocean and even apprehended an attempted murder suspect -- all while playing the game.

Here are 12 of the most ridiculous things people have reportedly done all in the name of catching 'em all:

1. Walk Into a Cemetery and Climb a Tree


A player determined to get a "Pokemon stuck in a tree" at a New Jersey cemetery ended up getting stuck themselves, according to the East Greenwich Township Fire & Rescue, which used a ladder to help get the person back down.

"For all those out there playing Pokemon Go, take heed of all of the warnings and be careful not to put yourself into bad situations," fire and rescue officials wrote on the department's Facebook page. "Think about what you are doing and where you are going before you actually do it."

That post was later taken down due to "inappropriate comments and foul language used," the department said in a subsequent post.

2. Drive Into a Parked Police Car in Front of 3 Officers

Earlier this week, a distracted driver playing "Pokemon Go" in Baltimore was caught on video swerving and then crashing into a parked police car.

In the video, which was recorded by an officer's body camera, the driver can be seen stepping out of the car to show the game on his cell phone to police.

"That's what I get for playing this dumb [a--] game," the driver can be heard saying.

3. Jump Out of a Car in the Middle of a Street

Dozens of people were recorded jumping out of their cars and running to catch a Vaporeon that had apparently spawned in Central Park this past weekend.

4. Ask Girlfriend to Hold a Train

A journalist in New York reportedly witnessed a man tell his girlfriend to "hold the train" so he could finish catching Pokemon. Needless to say, she left without him.

5. Quit Your Job to Play Full-Time

A New Zealand man quit his job as a barista bartender at a seaside restaurant to become a full-time Pokemon hunter, according to BBC's Newsbeat, which added he's relying on friends and family to help him out as he travels the country to "catch 'em all."

6. Walk Into a Pond

A man in New York was walking towards a lure in Prospect Park when he fell into a pond, he wrote in the description of the live-stream video he caught of the incident.

7. Play While at a Funeral


A photo showing a Squirtle sighting at what appears to be a funeral has made rounds on the internet.

 

"Not an eye in the place was dry." Maybe because Squirtle was crashing the funeral? #rude #PokemonGo pic.twitter.com/4wGV1AhRyh

— Cassidy With a K (@MyZombieandMe) July 8, 2016



8. Not Go to the Hospital After Being Stabbed

A 21-year-old Oregon man said he kept playing "Pokemon Go" even after allegedly being stabbed.

 

 

Pokemon fan is stabbed – but keeps playing instead of going to hospital https://t.co/Tf2B4j47WN

— Metro (@MetroUK) July 13, 2016



The man told a local news station he saw asked another man walking past him and asked that man if he was playing the game.

"He was like 'What?' and I guess he wanted to battle because he came up at me with a knife," he said.

9. Attach Cellphone to a Flying Drone


A man reportedly attached his Android phone to a drone, and mirrored what the phone was seeing during the drone's flight on his computer.

But it looks like the idea hasn't worked out for all drone users. One YouTuber tweeted that he crashed his $1,000 drone while attempting to use it to play "Pokemon Go."

10. Play While Wife Delivers Baby at the Hospital

One image of a man trying to catch a Pidgey in the game as his wife was in labor has received over 3.4 million views on Imgur.

The Imgur post is titled, "When your wife is about to have a baby and a Pokemon shows up and you have to low-key catch it..."

11. Continuously Spin Cellphone on Microwave Turn Table

The hack apparently makes your character in the game spin in circles, thus accumulating walking distance needed to hatch eggs.

12. Actually Microwave Cellphone

 

 

Thanks to the person that said I could hatch eggs on Pokemon Go quicker in the microwave. You owe me a new phone https://t.co/tDo6hZmedT

— Crxk (@Crxk) July 14, 2016



R.I.P.

 

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Powerball jackpot is now up to an estimated $390 million after no winning ticket resulted from Wednesday night's drawing.

The winning numbers were 6, 25, 35, 58, 66. The Powerball was 5.

The next drawing will take place Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET. Your chances of taking him the big prize are 1 in 292 million.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Reddit is known by many as “the front page of the Internet.”

It’s a no-frills social platform with a network of 234 million unique users and eight billion monthly page views. Users can post in almost 900,000 "subreddits" or ask anything of prominent figures like President Obama, Snoop Dogg and NASA Mars scientists.

The site was founded in 2005 by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, who met as college freshmen in a dorm at the University of Virginia -- neither with any intentions of creating the ninth largest website in the U.S.

Ohanian, who was dubbed “Mayor of the Internet” by Forbes in 2012 and is the best-selling author of Without Their Permission, sat down with ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis on "Real Biz With Rebecca Jarvis" to talk all things Reddit, his early inspirations, tortilla makers, tech investing and the best piece of advice he’s ever received.

Here are five things you might not know about Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian:

1. Without Waffle House, there may have never been a Reddit.

Ohanian skipped out on his LSAT after he got a hankering for waffles, and it was inside the Waffle House down Route 29 in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he had an epiphany.

“If I wanted waffles more than this LSAT, I probably shouldn’t be a lawyer,” Ohanian said. “I went back to my apartment and talked to Steve, and said, ‘Let’s make something together -- let’s start a company.’”

And that’s how Reddit was born.

2. Ohanian was born on April 24, the same day as the recognition day for the Armenian genocide.

“My entire paternal side being Armenian imbued me with a very strong sense of responsibility,” said Ohanian. “Knowing about all of their sacrifices, I think, gave me a tremendous amount of strength and ability to endure.”

3. His favorite app (after the new Reddit app) is Snapchat.

“It took me a while to get into it, I didn’t understand it,” Ohanian said. “It’s a very different approach to authenticity, but I very much see Snapchat and Reddit as kindred spirits in that way because it’s about being real. Not just for a generation, but I think more broadly, something more and more people want.”

4. He doodled Reddit’s mascot 'Snoo' before the company was ever launched.

If you know Reddit, you know Snoo: The little alien is the site’s mascot. Ohanian drew the little guy/gal while he was sitting, bored, in class at UVA.

“I actually had the mascot before we built the website, which is not the right order to do it,” Ohanian said. “I’ve literally met at least six people who have the Reddit alien tattoo on them!”

5. His Reddit username is ‘knOthing’

Ever wonder what the site’s co-founder goes by on his home turf?

“My username is kn0thing. It was from high school. It was King Nothing, a Metallica song. I was really into Metallica.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As Donald Trump emerged on the stage in Cleveland on Monday night, silhouetted against bright lights with Queen’s “We Are the Champions” playing in background, the crowd went wild. But Queen did not.

In a tweet posted on Tuesday morning, the British rock band said that the playing of the song was an “unauthorised use” and “against our wishes.”

But that’s only partially true: Playing the song appears to have been perfectly legal, as ABC News has learned that the Republican National Convention did have a license that grants it access to play the song in public.

“In order to publicly perform music in a public location, you need a performing rights license,” Marc Jacobson, a music and film lawyer in New York City, told ABC News.

In this case, the rights to play songs by Queen publicly are owned by a company called BMI.

Jodie Thomas, a spokeswoman for BMI, told ABC News that the RNC has a license -- called a “conventions license” -- that allows it full access to the BMI musical repertoire, which includes Queen.

The Trump campaign itself has a different kind of license -- a “political entities license” -- which means certain songs from the BMI library are off limits. Thomas said that Queen had objected to the campaign's use of the song, and that BMI subsequently informed the campaign that it was no longer authorized to play the song.

Thomas also noted that “the RNC is more appropriately covered by the political entities license, which we are in the process of transitioning them to,” and that in the meantime, BMI has sent a letter to the RNC “letting them know that Queen has objected to the use of their music.” She added that BMI hopes that the RNC complies.

However, “as a matter of copyright law -- assuming there’s a license for public performance -- they have no right to stop it,” Jacobson said.

That being said, the playing of the song is still against the wishes of Queen, and there may be other avenues that Queen, or other artists who disapprove of the use of their work, could pursue.

Lawrence Iser, a Los Angeles lawyer who represented Jackson Browne in a lawsuit against Sen. John McCain over a similar matter, told ABC News that one such avenue would be to make a claim alleging that the artist’s right of publicity had been infringed.

“Queen has the ability to claim under the right of publicity that [the RNC is] using without permission their famous voices to sell a candidate or in this case the Republican Party,” he said.

Similarly, he said that the artists may be protected by trademark law.

“It’s called a false endorsement claim under section 43a of the Trademark Act,” Iser explained. “That gives somebody who has a well-known mark -- in this case it would give Queen and the band members of Queen -- the right to claim that you’re using our famous identity, our famous sound, our famous song in a manner that suggests we endorse Donald Trump.”

Finally, he said, the artists could claim that the convention is unlike other performances, and thus isn't covered by a traditional performance license.

“I would argue in this instance -- as you can [with] each of the Trumps and everyone else reading from teleprompters -- this is a highly scripted show with high production values,” Iser said. “That was like what you’d expect to see in Las Vegas or on Broadway ... and use of a song in a scripted show requires a grand rights license”

If all else fails, Iser said, artists can publicly denounce the use of their songs by candidates, and there is likely nothing in the performance agreements preventing them from doing so.

“Generally speaking, campaigns have historically backed away when artists have come out and said, 'Don’t use my song,'” he said.

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Wesley Mann/FOX News via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Roger Ailes, the embattled chairman of Fox News, may have forever changed the media landscape but his future -- and that of Fox News -- remains uncertain.

“He didn’t just create Fox News, he changed television news as a result," said Frank Sesno, former White House correspondent and bureau chief for CNN who is now a professor at George Washington University. “One thing Roger Ailes didn’t do is groom an obvious successor."

In the wake of allegations of sexual harassment from former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, there are reports that Ailes is negotiating his exit from the company he built. Attorneys for Ailes told ABC News that while proposals have been discussed, there is no exit agreement in place. Ailes has denied all of Carlson’s allegations.

"Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network's decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup," he said earlier this month.

A departure, if it does indeed happen, would mark the end of a chapter for one of the most storied and influential careers in the history of American media.

A Start in Entertainment and Politics

Ailes began his career in media by working for The Mike Douglas Show, which gave him “a keen eye for production,” said David Folkenflik, NPR’s media correspondent and author of Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires, about 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News.

But Ailes was much more than a television producer. According to Folkenflik, Ailes was able to walk the line between entertainment and politics with ease, and “didn’t see sharp distinctions between” the two worlds.

He advised President Richard Nixon, helping the president connect with voters over the relatively new medium that was television.

“He would stage certain kinds of televised specials where [Nixon] could be seen taking questions from voters,” Folkenflik said. “It made him seem responsive, it made him seem confident.”

Ailes went on to advise Presidents Ronald Reagan in 1984 and George H.W. Bush in 1988, according to Folkenflik.

Fox News Era

In 1996, Ailes was instrumental in the launch of Fox News -- a 24-hour cable channel that would come to be a heavy-hitter in the American media landscape.

“Fox set a bar, and Fox had a voice, and Fox had an audience that proved to be disaffected with the media as it existed before,” said Sesno, who is now the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. “He was focused, and politics is about winning, and he brought that ethos to Fox News.”

But to some observers, Fox News’ success was built on the back of division.

Matt Sienkiewicz, assistant professor of communications and international studies at Boston College, told ABC News that “the key to Ailes’ financial success -- the core contribution -- was understanding that in the 21st century the news business was going to make money dividing people rather than uniting them.”

As the media environment got more competitive, “he realized that the strategy that was going to be most profitable was going to be limit your approach, pick your lane of people -- in his case older, mostly white, conservatives – and lock them in,” Sienkiewicz noted.

Throughout his tenure at Fox News, the channel has enjoyed tremendous appeal with certain audiences. Even as Ailes' alleged scandal broke, the network continued to draw viewers.

“Fox News Channel was the most-watched basic cable network for the week of July 11, both in the total day and prime-time dayparts,” said a post on the TV Newser website, which covers television ratings. “This represents the 6th consecutive weekly win for FNC, which was up 56.5 percent in total prime time viewers and up 56 percent in total day viewers compared to the same week in 2015.”

Sienkiewicz says the network’s success can be attributed to a style of news coverage that Ailes pioneered.

Ailes knew that “if you want people to watch, you have to entertain them. You can’t just inform them,” said Sienkiewicz said, adding that Ailes' background as an entertainment producer gave him the skills needed to create a news network. “It is a fantastically successful media business.”

Succession

While 21st Century Fox maintains that Ailes is “at work,” his lawyer would not deny that negotiations for Ailes’ possible departure from the network were ongoing.

An email to a Fox News spokeswoman requesting comment on the progress of any negotiations was not immediately returned.

If Ailes does leave, it isn’t clear who could take his place.

“I assume it will be somebody who is within the organization,” said Sienkiewicz. “I would be surprised if they went outside.”

But what is certain is the politics-as-entertainment legacy that Ailes instituted won’t soon be forgotten.

“He started smash-mouth politics, and now smash-mouth is the nominee of the Republican party,” said Sesno.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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