Fox News is a fascinating media story because it's home to so many fascinating personalities. None more than its CEO Roger Ailes who, in an interview about his network with the Associated Press, candidly admitted he hired Sarah Palin "because she was hot and got ratings."
In the profile, we also learn that for Ailes, it's about making good TV. The best TV. He used CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer to illustrate how the competition is doing it wrong:
"Wolf Blitzer is an excellent reporter, but he's not a star," says Ailes. And since the format of the show calls for Blitzer to highlight visuals on the "news wall" behind him, "he spends half of his time with his back to the camera. I like Wolf. I think he's a good journalist. But I get offended that his back is to the camera."
Scarry's note: Some have labeled (here and here) Ailes' remark about hiring Palin for being "hot" as sexist. He clearly meant "hot" as in "in demand," as pointed out by Mediaite's Jon Bershad (though not as succinctly). It's Megyn Kelly who Ailes hired for being hot in the other way.