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"She's out," Ailes said. "Done, immediately." He added: "We'd cover [her] like we would any other candidate--fair and balanced."
Ultimately, Palin decided not to run, butaccording to New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman, her days at Fox may be numbered anyway. According to the report, Ailes was furious that Palin made her Oct. 5 announcement on conservative talk-show host Mark Levin's radio show--and not on Fox News.
Palin appeared on Greta Van Susteren's primetime show on Fox that night to discuss her decision, but Ailes was nonetheless livid, according to the magazine.
"I paid her for two years to make this announcement on my network," Ailes scolded Bill Shine, Fox News' executive vice president of programming, according to Sherman's sources.
Palin's reported $1 million-per-year contract with Fox is up in 2013, and it now seems unlikely it will be extended. According to the New York magazine report, Ailes considered "benching" Palin over the incident. If Fox does end up ditching Palin, it will mark a striking fall from favor for the onetime candidate-in-waiting. In September, Ailes told Newsweek that he hired the former vice presidential candidate when she was "hot." Ailes now appears to view Palin as lukewarm, at best.
Of course, Ailes' history with political candidates predates the launch of Fox News. Beginning in the late 1960s, Ailes served as a political consultant to a string of Republican candidates, advising the likes of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
According to Sherman, Palin's decision to snub Fox on her announcement was driven by the favoritism that she thought Ailes was showing to political consultant Karl Rove, who has been one of Palin's most vocal critics.