Elizabeth Ailes of Garrison is the owner and publisher of The Putnam County News & Recorder and The Putnam County Courier. Mrs. Ailes comes to the papers after a successful career in broadcasting. She is a 20-year veteran of NBC News, CNBC, and America's Talking, the forerunner of MSNBC.
In 2008, she brought her intensity of journalistic focus to The Putnam County News & Recorder as publisher, and in 2009 she took on the same role for The Putnam County Courier. Mrs. Ailes has continued the newspapers' strong civic involvement, and has substantially expanded their charitable efforts, including scholarships for worthy local students across the county.
Mrs. Ailes began her career at NBC News Radio and NBC News after graduating with a B.S. Degree in Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. She was the first producer hired at CNBC and part of a 3-person team responsible for launching the network in April 1989. Mrs. Ailes later became Director of Business Programming at CNBC, before becoming Vice President of Programming at America’s Talking, the predecessor to MSNBC.
Mrs. Ailes is the owner of the Hudson Valley Freedom Press, where she publishes the 150-year-old Putnam County News & Recorder, which hits newsstands on Wednesdays; and The Putnam County Courier, which is now 175 years old and is New York State's oldest, continually published weekly. It was established in 1841 and is available every Thursday. She has led significant expansions by the newspapers into today’s social media. She also initiated local candidate debates during election season to help inform voters.
She is married to Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. They were married on Valentine's Day 1998. They have a son, Zachary, who was born on New Year's Day 2000. The Ailes’ family home is in Garrison, New York.
Mr. and Mrs. Ailes are proud supporters of United States military veterans and their families. In 2014, the Green Beret Foundation, an organization which provides indispensable services to America's bravest soldiers, honored the couple with a Lifetime Achievement Award, heralding their generosity, friendship and patriotism. More than one million dollars was raised that evening.
In 2013 at the 68th Annual Cardinal’s Christmas Luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, Mrs. Ailes was presented with the “Christmas Angel” award. The event raised a record $1.6 million to help women and children served by programs affiliated with the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. She is also the recipient of the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. In 2010, Ailes was recognized by the Whipple Foundation with the Preserve Putnam Award, given annually since 1999, for her efforts to save the Courier newspaper and her community service.
Mrs. Ailes and her family support many charitable causes, both locally and in the metropolitan New York area. In 2013 Mrs. Ailes renovated a dormitory at The Walter Hoving Home in Garrison, a rehabilitation center for women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. The facility had been closed for 10 years due to flooding. Mrs. Ailes personally oversaw every detail of the renovation, from project conception to drawings to completion. The newly rebuilt “Elizabeth Ailes Lodge,” named for its benefactor, now provides space for 16 beds for women in the program, expanding the good work it does for women who suffer from substance abuse.
Several years ago, Mrs. Ailes restored a historic building on Main Street in Cold Spring to its original 1908 grandeur. After lovingly overseeing every detail, the former Old Homestead Club is now home to the production offices for both the PCNR and Courier.
Currently, Mrs. Ailes is spearheading construction of a new center for Philipstown senior citizens and working with the Putnam County Executive's office and the property's owner and developer. The center will be housed in The Lahey Pavilion in Cold Spring, New York. Improving the facilities provided for the town’s seniors has long been an aim of Mrs. Ailes and her husband. Construction is expected to begin in late in 2016. Mr. Ailes is contributing $250,000 he won from the Bradley Foundation prize, and the family is matching it with a like amount from their personal funds, to help outfit the new senior center. The ribbon cutting is planned for March 2017.
Mrs. Ailes has previously served on the board of directors of Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY, and of Catholic Big Sisters and Big Brothers. She recently joined the Board of Trustees of the Taft School in Watertown, CT.