Fox News Drops 'Fair And Balanced' Slogan after 21 Years

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Fox News has abandoned the slogan "Fair & Balanced", a mainstay of the network for almost 20 years, to distance itself from founding CEO Roger Ailes.

(It would be like the New York Times giving up "All the News That's Fit to Print.") Ailes invented the slogan when he launched the network in 1996, and over the years it became a quasi-religious doctrine among Fox's anchors and viewers.

Ailes, who died in May, built Fox News into cable's highest-rated news network. The reason the network doesn't want to use the tagline anymore in advertising is that it is too associated with former network chief Roger Ailes, who was ousted a year ago in the wake of sexual harassment allegations. Ailes stepped down shortly after, but the network could not shake allegations of a hostile work environment. Fox executives have been instructed by management to market the network by its other tagline: "Most Watched".

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It was also closely associated with Ailes, who used it as a code word for "leaning slightly left" in notes to producers and in making hiring decisions. Prime-time star Bill O'Reilly was sacked in April; up-and-comer Megyn Kelly departed for greener pastures at NBC; and executive leadership has undergone a rapid succession of changes as the network's old guard, represented by Rupert Murdoch, clashes with a younger, reformist generation led by Murdoch's sons, James and Lachlan. "You Decide" and "The Most Powerful Name in News".

The slogan was recognised across America.

New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman reported on Wednesday that Fox News will no longer use the longtime slogan, instead highlighting the network's ratings dominance with the new slogan, "Most Watched". But "Fair & Balanced" definitely was best known, and most mockable.