ABCNews.com(PHILADELPHIA) -- First Lady Michelle Obama was the belle of the ball at the Democratic National Convention Monday night -- and not just because of her rousing words.
Heads turned when she took to the stage in an elegant A-line silhouette, crepe silk dress with cap sleeves and a fitted bodice -- in the Democratic party's signature shade of blue, of course -- by designer Christian Siriano.
She paired the dress with dangling earrings and metallic, pointed-toe Jimmy Choo pumps.
Although the show-stopping dress is custom-made, the "Project Runway" alum sells a very similar design for $995 on his website.
"It was about striking the balance with that dress," Siriano, who was contacted by the First Lady's stylist, told "Vogue" Tuesday morning. "I think the top made it feel powerful and the bottom made it feel soft and kind of romantic. My personal opinion is that it represents her personality, from what I see [having never met her]."
Siriano continued, "She’s such a powerful woman and she is so strong, but she’s also one of the kindest people there is. That’s the balance of that dress: a simple silhouette that is still elegant and romantic and covered [up] in a different way. It was also different from what every other woman wore, which was also an interesting choice."
But this isn't the first time Obama has worn a design by Siriano. Earlier this month, at the memorial for the five Dallas police officers killed by a sniper, Obama wore a black, full-skirted dress by Siriano.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. stocks closed mixed as Wall Street reacted to earnings reports Tuesday.
The Dow closed down 19.31 (-0.10 percent) to finish at 18,473.75.
The Nasdaq gained 12.42 ( 0.24 percent) to close at 5,110.05, while the S&P 500 closed at 2,169.18, up 0.70 ( 0.03 percent) from its open.
Crude oil lost about 1 percent with prices hitting under $43 a barrel.
Earnings: Under Armour sunk 5 percent at the close on earnings that fell in the second-quarter but met expectations. McDonald's shares were also down over 4 percent after it reported slowing quarterly sales, despite adding all-day breakfast.
Twitter's stock tumbled 10 percent in after hours trading when its earnings report in quarter two showed disappointing revenue growth. Apple was also set to report earnings Tuesday.
Federal Reserve: The Fed began its two-day monetary policy meeting Tuesday. Although analysts don't expect the U.S. central bank to raise rates this month given the rocky global economy since Britain's vote to leave the European Union, investors will look to the Fed Wednesday for when the next hike could be.
ABCNews.com(CLEARWATER, Fla.) -- The North Carolina teenager who was struck by lightning while playing Pokemon Go on the beach with a friend said “everything went black” right before the strike.
Cameron Poimboeuf, 15, was with a friend on Sand Key Beach, near Clearwater, on July 19, when a storm rolled in as the pair were engrossed in Pokemon Go, the location-based game app.
“It was just really dark, I was on my phone and everything went black,” Poimboeuf, of Charlotte, North Carolina, told Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS-TV.
Poimboeuf said he was told he was struck by lightning in his back and through his leg.
“Everyone was standing there looking at me,” Poimboeuf told WFTS-TV. “I was trying to figure out if I was hurting or anything, but my body was pretty much numb.”
The teenager was unresponsive for three days after the lightning strike and spent nearly one week in the ICU at a local hospital, reports WFTS-TV. He was discharged from the hospital on Sunday.
“I am still a little bit dizzy, but it is a lot better," he said.
Poimboeuf’s mother, Karen Poimboeuf, told WFTS-TV her son’s prognosis was initially bleak. She said three Good Samaritans on the beach and the rescue crew helped save her son’s life.
“We were also told from the cardiologist it was the level of expert CPR that he got that made the difference,” she said. “They did not give up after minutes of CPR, that they kept working and kept working and kept working.”
Starbucks(NEW YORK) -- Starbucks’ corporate dress code will be relaxed for employees in North America starting Tuesday, allowing “baristas to shine as individuals,” the coffee giant said in a statement.
The changes mean more than 150,000 employees in more than 8,771 stores will be able to expand beyond the standard corporate black or white shirts that have served as a background to the famous green aprons, and don something a little more self-expressive.
Among the changes handed down Monday: new style guidelines, a new color palette and new regulations on accents and accessories.
Why the change?
The company said it's looking to boost employee satisfaction, while also making their stores seem a little more cool.
“Our success is rooted in our continual innovation and customization in every aspect of our business and this also applies to offering the best [employee] experience we can,” Starbucks Canada President Rossann Williams said in the statement. “We are responding to what our [employees] have told us and are confident that this will uplift the Starbucks brand.”
A manager for a store in Manhattan, New York, where the new guidelines have been piloted, Mario Leon, said in the same statement that customers seemed happy to get a sense of who the baristas were as individuals.
What will be allowed? And what will be prohibited?
Here are some of the changes, starting from top to bottom:
The company will allow permanent and semi-permanent artificial hair coloring, so long as long hair is tied back. Temporary color, sprays, glitter, and chalks are banned for food safety reasons.
But if an employee is having a bad hair day, she or he can cover it with a variety of newly-allowed hats, including fedoras, beanies and newsboy caps. But sorry Texan employees, cowboy hats are among the forbidden headpieces.
Up until now, baristas had a binary choice when it came to what could be worn underneath their green apron: a solid black or solid white shirt.
However, the “Lookbook” released by the company tells employees that they are now “invited to wear a range of subdued shirt colors," which they suggest includes, "gray, navy, dark denim and brown.” But the book goes on to advise that “solids are your friend and so are smaller tighter, low-contrast patterns.”
Tops can now take many different forms -- a break from the button-up -- including sweaters, pullovers and turtlenecks, among others. T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, and “plunging” necklines are verboten and employees are warned against wearing anything with large, non-Starbucks logos.
The company included several color and pattern swatches as examples of what could be worn in keeping with the code.
Regulations on pants will be loosened too. Employees can now choose to wear dark jeans, shorts, skirts or dresses, in addition to the slacks and khakis that were previously allowed.
Shoes in black, gray or brown are allowed so long as they feature only a small amount of accent color; but all shoes must be closed-toe, closed-heel, and cover as much of the top of the foot as possible, the company said. Also, no UGG-style shoes among others, the company added.
But what about ties and tattoos and other accents and accessories?
Starbucks said the key is to make sure that they are “not the main event of your outfit,” but is otherwise cool with its employees sport ties, scarves and fun socks.
Most conservative piercings, including small ear gauges, are allowed, so long as they’re kept to two per ear.
Some accents are still off-limits. Nail polish and coverings are banned because they “could chip or slip into food or drinks” and so are watches, bracelets, wristbands and hand jewelry -- except single-band wedding-style rings.
Who will decide about questionable clothing? And what kind of trouble could employees get into for breaking the rules?
In the guidelines sent to employees, the company says that “store managers will ultimately make the call as to what’s okay within the Dress Code and what’s not.”
In fine print at the end of the guidelines, it warns employees of the expectations saying that inappropriate dress will prevent them from starting their shift.
At worst, the guidelines say, unacceptable appearance “may result in corrective action, including separation from employment.”
iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- General Mills is expanding its recall of flour products tied to an E. Coli outbreak following the confirmation of four new illnesses.
In a press release Monday, the company said it is "adding additional flour production dates to the previously announced U.S. retail flour recall that was originally announced on May 31, 2016." You can see the complete list of recalled products here.
General Mills says the illnesses continue to be linked to consumers eating or handling uncooked dough or uncooked batter.
"No illnesses have been connected with flour that has been properly baked, cooked or handled," the company said.
(NEW YORK) — Making savvy financial moves is easier than ever before, thanks to the smartphones most of us carry around in our purses and pockets these days. The only hard part is choosing between the hundreds of personal finance apps available to us. So here’s my roundup of great money-saving apps to help you relax more — and spend less — this summer.
WalletHub: Best for monitoring and improving your credit. I like it because it offers something truly unique: free Trans-Union credit scores that are updated daily. Your credit score changes constantly as you pay off bills and make new charges. Now you will KNOW where you stand. The WalletHub app also provides credit improvement tips and free credit monitoring.
Mint Money Manager: Best as a dashboard for tracking your money This free app is an oldie but also a winner. First, you link all of your financial accounts to the Mint app. Then it shows you, in easily understandable graphics, where your money is going, from groceries to gas. If you see that one category is a weak spot for you, you can pull back. For me, that would most certainly be clothing and shoes! Fully embrace this tool and you can also set up fee alerts, bill reminders and warnings to let you know when you are going over budget.
Ballpark Estimate: Best for figuring out retirement savings needs It’s hard to believe that an app can help untangle the mysteries of retirement, but people give this one high marks. The app leads you through a series of questions about your existing savings and work history, then crunches the numbers for you about how much your investments can be expected to grow, anticipated social security income and so on. Soon you’ve got a suggestion for how much you need to save for retirement each month. P2K Money: Best for teaching kids about money and saving Here’s where you can give your technology-hungry kids an important money lesson. This app lets them track their earnings, from their allowance or odd jobs. They can also watch their savings grow and even make a “wish list,” complete with pictures of items they hope to buy. The idea is twofold, I think: to show them how nice it is to be rewarded financially for working hard (parents can choose to dole out extra money if their kids do extra chores) and to show kids how skipping frivolous purchases helps the pot of money grow faster so they can afford the bigger, better items on their wish lists.
Price Grabber: Best for looking for lower prices while out shopping Price Grabber has been around for a while and still has longevity. If you’re in a store, you can scan the barcode on a product you’re interested in to check prices elsewhere. You can also search by product name, UPC code, part number, etc. This tool even takes into account shipping and sales tax if you enter your zip code.
Coupons.com: Best for grocery coupons There are lots and lots of coupon apps. I receive PR pitches from their people daily. But I suggest that newbies start here simply because of the sheer volume of coupons available through this workhorse site. This app is easy to use when you’re out and about. My preference is to add deals found here to my store loyalty card, but there are also often printable options. And while this app is best known for grocery, household and personal care coupons, it also has other types of digital offers like for clothing chains and pet stores.
RetailMeNot: Best for retail promo codes You may have used RetailMeNot’s website to search for promo codes when you’re shopping online, and you can use the mobile app the same way. If you find a promo code, just show it to the cashier on your phone when you check out. But the app also does other things. For example, you can bookmark the stores where you shop the most and then quickly glance at a list of available offers while you’re browsing the aisles. Elisabeth Leamy is a 25-year consumer advocate for programs such as "Good Morning America" and "The Dr. Oz Show." She is the author of Save BIG and The Savvy Consumer. Elisabeth is also a professional speaker, delivering talks nationwide on saving money, media relations, and career success. Elisabeth receives her best story tips from readers, so please connect with her via Twitter or her website, to share your ideas.
Any opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Along the rocky bottom of the chilly Atlantic Ocean crawls one of the world’s favorite delicacies, the Maine lobster.
Lobster is Maine’s number one export: There are more than 6,000 lobstermen along the state's 228-mile coast. Maine has just over two million people and almost double that number in lobster traps.
Why is the crustacean off the coast of Maine considered one of the most delicious and coveted on the planet? Is it really different than other lobster and, if so, why? And, is its survival threatened?
ABC News traveled to Bar Harbor looking for answers. Nearly three million visitors travel to Bar Harbor each year just to get a taste of a Maine lobster.
ABC spoke to Dr. Bob Steneck, a marine biologist and oceanographer at the University of Maine. He knows these decapods front to back, having studied lobsters in Maine for more than 30 years.
“The environment in Maine, it's a rocky shore, so it has that kind of nursery habitat that lobsters like," Steneck says. "But probably more importantly, there are temperatures that are too warm, and there are temperatures that are too cold. Maine happens to be sitting in the sweet spot of being in exactly the right temperature."
As booming as Maine's lobster business is, the past decade has seen a shocking decline in the numbers of lobsters from Rhode Island to Long Island.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the number of lobsters in southern New England has fallen by more than 70 percent over the past 20 years.
In Rhode Island, ABC visited the boat of Mike Marchetti, who quit lobstering because of the population decline. Marchetti started out just hauling in a few rudimentary pods when he was in high school, selling a trash can full of lobster for extra cash. His business grew until the early 2000s when things suddenly went sour.
“Damned if I can even remember what years now," he says. "It’s 2001 to 2006, but it was the fishery started to really see some heavy declines. People were having a hard time making money. A lot of people left the business.”
Marchetti switched the rigging of his boat to scallop instead of lobster.
So, why are lobsters thriving in Maine while men like Marchetti are leaving the business in nearby Rhode Island?
While we can’t point to a single cause for the slumping population of Rhode Island lobsters, marine biologist Steneck is keeping a close eye on the climate.
“The thing that we're watching is climate change,” Steneck says. “We know that in areas to the south, for example, off of Rhode Island, 1998 was the warmest year on the planet. That year a shell disease broke out, and the lobster populations declined by 80 percent."
Fortunately for Maine, Steneck doesn’t see anything similar happening there in the near future.
The unusually warm temperatures seen in Rhode Island in 1998 are not likely to be seen in Maine for some time, Steneck said.
Even Marchetti believes lobsters will be back in Rhode Island if we give it time. His boat can quickly be re-rigged for lobsters, and he’s ready when the time comes.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Verizon has struck a deal to acquire Yahoo! operating business in a deal totalling $4.83 billion in cash, both companies announced early Monday.
Last year, Verizon acquired AOL with plans to enhance "cross-screen connection for consumers," and now hopes to generate more revenue in digital advertising with the Yahoo deal.
"The acquisition of Yahoo will put Verizon in a highly competitive position as a top global mobile media company, and help accelerate our revenue stream in digital advertising," Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said in a company statement.
With Yahoo's global audience of more than one billion monthly active users -- 600 million of those being mobile users -- CEO Marissa Mayer says the "transaction sets up a great opportunity for Yahoo to build further distribution and accelerate our work in mobile, video, native advertising and social."
She added, "Yahoo and AOL popularized the Internet, email, search and real-time media. It's poetic to be joining forces with AOL and Verizon as we enter our next chapter focused on achieving scale on mobile."
With more than 25 brands included, Yahoo's addition to Verizon and AOL will make for one of the largest portfolios of owned and partnered global brands with extensive distribution capabilities.
The deal is expected to close in Q1 of 2017, pending approval of Yahoo's shareholders and customary closing conditions being met.
iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Amazon is partnering with the U.K. to test its drone delivery program.
Announced in a release on Monday, the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority will allow Amazon to work on drone "line of sight operations," drone sensors so they can avoid obstacles, and a system where one person is responsible for multiple automated drones.
The partnership is part of Prime Air, Amazon's future delivery drone system, to get packages up to 5 pounds to customers in 30 minutes or less.
“This announcement strengthens our partnership with the U.K. and brings Amazon closer to our goal of using drones to safely deliver parcels in 30 minutes to customers in the U.K. and elsewhere around the world,” said Paul Misener, Amazon’s Vice President of Global Innovation Policy and Communications, in a statement.
The British government said the program would help all companies be able to use drone technology, a feat Misener said would "create new jobs in a rapidly growing industry..."
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. stocks slumped Monday after last week's record gains as investors await more earnings and look to the Federal Reserve's policy meeting this week.
The Dow closed down 77.79 (-0.42 percent) to finish at 18,493.06.
The Nasdaq fell 2.53 (-0.05 percent) to close at 5,097.63, while the S&P 500 closed at 2,168.48, down 6.55 (-0.30 percent) from its open.
Crude oil sunk nearly 3 percent with prices hitting about $43 a barrel.
Federal Reserve: The U.S. central bank will begin its policy meeting Tuesday, but experts say the Fed will hold off on an interest rate hike this month and possibly until September. The Federal Reserve still faces mixed global economic signs after the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union.
Verizon: Verizon and Yahoo announced Monday that both companies had struck a $4.83 billion merger deal. Verizon will acquire Yahoo's operating business including a global audience of more than one billion monthly active users. Shares in Verizon closed down less than 1 percent and Yahoo's stock tumbled about 3 percent.
Outerwall: Redbox and Coinstar owner Outerwall will be acquired by private-equity firm Apollo Global Management for $1.6 billion as DVD sales have struggled recently. Outerwall shares soared 11 percent after the news.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Who needs a hotel room when you can have your own personal windmill, caboose or church to vacation in? That’s exactly what TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals had in mind when compiling this list of its top off-the-grid, outlandish and unconventional converted homes to rent.
“A unique vacation rental is an easy and affordable way to make an otherwise ordinary trip feel remarkable and unforgettable,” TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals spokesperson Laurel Greatrix told ABC News of the interesting new trend.
“A stay in a converted windmill with a private pool in Santorini costs just $56 per person per night, while a night in a renovated firehouse in Kent will cost each guest just $22,” she added. “With affordable prices and a variety of amenities such as kitchen and living space, rentals offer a very different experience than a traditional hotel room.”
Take a look at some of the most beautiful and fascinating, yet completely unconventional vacation rentals you could explore on your next big adventure:
Windmill: Santorini, Greece
With panoramic views of the Aegean Sea, this gorgeous windmill-turned-vacation home in Santorini is the perfect Grecian vacation spot of your dreams. It has a marvelous curving staircase leading to crescent-shaped bedrooms.
Barn: Bath, England
This elegant vintage barn boasts clean, white interiors, with wooden beams that still transport you back to its cozy farm days. A Victorian spiral staircase and stone accents make it the picture-perfect oasis for your English escape.
Church: Aurora, New York
You’d never think an 1870 church would be converted into a mansion, but that’s exactly what happened in New York’s Finger Lakes area. A blessed stay awaits you in this sanctuary, equipped with stained glass windows, complex woodwork and an altar serving as the kitchen island.
Stable: Santa Rosa, California
This ultra-romantic setting used to be a 31-stall stable and is located on 11 acres of land. The cathedral ceilings and lush landscaping remind guests of the stable’s former use, while allowing them to escape to a rustic yet relaxing setting with a 10,000-square-foot courtyard and soothing Tuscan fountain.
Shipping Container: Wellington, New Zealand
This contemporary home is taking the idea of “upcycling” to a whole new level. Built into a jagged rock face, this rental is actually three shipping containers stacked on top of each other, creating a large, luxe living area.
Fire Station: Canterbury, England
This former Victorian fire station may no longer be active, but its eccentric entryway chandeliers and vivacious furniture will be sure to spice up your stay more so than a normal hotel room. Perfect for a traveler, the minimalist, galley kitchen is just enough for someone passing through.
Caboose: Clyde, North Carolina
All aboard this quirky 1960s caboose located in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Although the quarters may be a bit cozy, the perks of a heated bathroom floor and fully equipped kitchen more than make up for it. Get lost in your train of thought as you take in the views from the nearby bison field.
ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Donald Trump is defending his longtime friend Roger Ailes in the wake of sexual harassment allegations and growing controversy surrounding the top-rated cable news channel.
Appearing on Showtime's The Circus, the Republican presidential nominee offered up praise for the former chairman and chief executive of Fox News, saying, "I think it's so sad. He's such a great guy."
Trump also touted the legacy that Ailes leaves behind at Fox News, a network Ailes helped build from the ground up but was forced to walk away from amid accusations of sexual harassment that have become public in recent weeks.
"What he's done on television, is in the history of television, he's gotta be placed in the top three, or four, or five, and that includes the founding of the major networks," Trump said. "So it's too bad. I'm sure it was friendly. I know Rupert [Murdoch]. He's a great guy."
Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes on July 6. Ailes has denied all of Carlson’s allegations, saying in a statement 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 an appearance on Meet the Press on Sunday, Trump also appeared to question the motives behind some of the allegations of harassment.
"Some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them...now all of a sudden, they are saying these horrible things about him, it's very sad because he's a very good person," he said.
Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign chair, echoed that support in an interview on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, adding to speculation that the 76-year-old -- widely known as a "Republican kingmaker" -- could potentially even join the Trump campaign.
Asked if there was any truth to that rumor, Manafort told Stephanopoulos, "I have no idea where that came from, there’s nothing I can say about that, but Roger Ailes certainly is a voice who understands the American people."
Trump's show of support for the embattled former CEO comes as new allegations against the culture at Fox News continue to surface.
In an interview with The New York Times, former Fox News correspondent Rudi Bakhtiar said that she was fired from the network after filing an internal sexual harassment complaint that accused former Fox News Washington, D.C. bureau chief Brian Wilson of sexual advances. Wilson, who left Fox News in 2010, denies the claims. Fox News executives say she was let go due to her performance.
Nearly a dozen women told The Times they experienced some form of harassment at Fox News; two women said they were allegedly harassed by Ailes while others claim they were harassed by other supervisors. All said speaking out could have been detrimental to their careers.
Ailes' troubles began when attorneys working for Carlson went public with her charges of harassment.
Sources tell ABC News that while several Fox News personalities have spoken out in support of Ailes, it was only after anchor Megyn Kelly refused to support Ailes that it became evident that Ailes may be forced out of the company.
Ailes formally stepped down on July 21.
In a separate statement to ABC News, 21st Century Fox, Fox News' parent company, said, "there's absolutely no room anywhere at our company for behavior that disrespects women or contributes to an uncomfortable work environment."
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Highway workers face many dangers in active road work zones. Despite safety measures, their lives are at risk every day as they perform repairs on our roadways.
Their first line of defense are warning signs and arrow boards for drivers to know of road work ahead. But another important safety measure is the truck-mounted attenuator, which provides a safety barrier between moving vehicles and workers on the road.
Royal Truck & Equipment has created the first autonomous truck-mounted attenuator that promises to add an extra layer of safety.
“In an effort to remove the driver and workers from an unsafe situation, we identified this as an opportunity to try to take drivers out of the truck and replace it with the autonomous technology,” Royal Truck & Equipment CEO Robert Roy said.
Attenuators are designed to be a crash cushion and barrier. They use an aluminum honey comb filled with air or sand to absorb or redirect a colliding vehicle away from the workers and machinery, and have been credited with saving lives. The attenuators are mounted on the back of trucks.
The typical work zone safety setup has workers or machinery in front of the manned truck-mounted attenuator. The autonomous truck will add an extra layer of safety since it will be behind the manned vehicle.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 49 road workers were killed by moving vehicles in 2014.
This autonomous technology was developed by Micro Systems Inc., a firm that has provided unmanned vehicles to the military. Micro Systems’ "Multi-Platform Appliqué Kit" has a vehicle-controlled computer that controls motors to let the vehicle know when to turn, accelerate, stop and avoid obstacles while mimicking the exact speed, heading and the direction of the leader vehicle.
The trucks can be retrofitted to be autonomous with mechanical actuators that replicate the leading manned vehicle and replicate steering, breaking and the acceleration from GPS data supplied by the manned vehicle.
“We are pioneering this industry. We are using the latest cutting-edge technology to make work environments a safer place,” said Maynard Factor, the business development manager for Micro Systems.
Royal Truck & Equipment is currently testing the technology and hopes one day to have these trucks on the road.
“Every day, we feel better about what we do and that’s the juice that keeps us going when we built these trucks,” Roy said.
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The silence was the sign.
Roger Ailes, the powerful Fox News chief, first realized his career at the helm of the network he built was in jeopardy when evening anchor Megyn Kelly refused repeated overtures to issue a public statement of support, according to a source familiar with the internal discussions.
Greta Van Susteren, Bill O’Reilly and Maria Bartiromo had already defended Ailes. But Kelly was invisible -– ominously so.
At the center of this year’s presidential campaign, Kelly was being asked, cajoled and even pressured outright to pledge her support for Ailes in the first days after sex-harassment claims were lodged, two sources said. And when Kelly declined to play along, a sense of doom quickly creeped over Ailes and his cabinet of advisers.
“And what about Megyn?” was the question asked inside Ailes’ war room. “There’s a problem with Megyn. Let’s talk offline.”
The following is an account from inside Fox, based on interviews with multiple sources with direct knowledge of what occurred. Ailes’ attorney, Susan Estrich, did not respond to a request for comment.
Ailes resigned under pressure Thursday, just after the stock market’s close. In the 24 hours preceding that announcement, it had become almost a given that Ailes was being ushered out of the network he built by his boss, Rupert Murdoch, and Murdoch’s sons, Lachlan and James.
Though such an exit was almost unthinkable just a week earlier, Ailes had already come to grips with what was the shocking new reality.
The crisis exploded July 6 when former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson filed a sex-harassment lawsuit against Ailes. Fox was not named in the case.
Quickly, Ailes assembled a war room at his home in Bergen County, New Jersey. Chief among those advising Ailes was his wife, Beth. In the room or dialed in on all-points conference calls were friends, and, importantly, PR and legal staff from Fox News, who were technically not even involved in the case.
Ailes made it clear to his team that he thought Lachlan and James Murdoch would try to use the Carlson lawsuit as a vehicle to remove him from his perch. After a career of battles -– both in politics and media -– Ailes figured he’d be able to strategize and scrap his way through and stay on top.
“We’re not going to let them win,” Ailes said of the Murdoch heirs.
In keeping with Ailes’ take-no-prisoners style, it was decided that the defense would be a blistering offense. And key to that would be a campaign of public pronouncements of support from Fox employees, to be led by those with the highest profile and best ratings. Quickly, the litany of A-listers coming out in support of their embattled boss would include Van Susteren, O’Reilly, Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro and Neil Cavuto.
“It was an unbelievable campaign,” one insider told ABC News. “There was enormous pressure.”
And the pressure was most extreme to get Kelly on board. She had taken center stage in public battles this year with Donald Trump and she is perceived to be both a strong woman and an independent thinker. Getting Kelly on board would be a coup and was to send messages both to the wider world and those inside Fox headquarters in Midtown Manhattan that things would be OK for Ailes.
Kelly wouldn’t do what Ailes wanted. (Kelly declined to comment to ABC News.)
She did, however, speak with the team of investigators retained by the Murdochs to probe what was happening at Fox. The law firm brought in to do the investigation told Fox staffers they wanted to know whether others had experienced harassment by Ailes. They started with those, like Kelly, who were headed to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
During that session, Kelly told investigators about harassment from Ailes she had suffered years earlier. Ailes would soon find out about that interview and news accounts detailing her account would follow quickly.
But that’s not when Ailes first realized his career at the network he founded was over. That moment had already come –- with a burst of silence.
Ailes, through his lawyers, has denied harassing Carlson or Kelly.