NEW YORK, Jan. 30 -- Former Republican political strategist Roger Ailes was named Tuesday to head media mogul Rupert Murdoch's planned 24-hour all-news network. Ailes spent the last two years as president of CNBC, the business news network of NBC, which has announced plans to create its own 24-hour news channel and compete with similar enterprises by the other networks. Murdoch said at a news conference Tuesday in Manhattan that Ailes will be chairman and chief executive officer of the new Fox venture, which he predicted will be upand running 'by the end of the year.' Ailes resigned from CNBC after its parent company NBC announced last month it was selling 50 percent of America's Talking, a second NBC cable channel, to Microsoft in order to create a 24-hour news channel. Management of the Microsoft-NBC enterprise then shifted from Ailes to NBC News President Andrew Lack. Ailes also moderated the talk show 'Straight Forward' on CNBC before his resignation. Ailes voiced hope at the news conference that the Fox network will be operating in time to cover the upcoming presidential election. But Ailes, who has worked with Republican presidential candidates since he helped Richard Nixon get elected in 1968, said he would not use his new position to promote his political views. 'We're not starting up a reactive news service here in any way. Our job is to be objective, to do fine journalism,' Ailes said. 'Certainly there could be that interpretation because of my background, but I left politics a number of years ago and have run a news organization for the last two years.
So we just expect to do fine, balanced journalism.' A key strategist on Ronald Reagan's 1980 and 1984 presidential campaigns, Ailes stirred controversy as George Bush's media director during the 1988 presidential campaign against then-Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis. Bush television commercials blasted Dukakis for state prison policies allowing furlough of inmates. The spots, which were criticized as race- baiting, focused on a black convicted murderer, Willie Horton, who raped and assaulted a white woman after his release. Ailes is slated to start Wednesday in his new position at Fox. Running the 24-hour news channel is expected to cost $50 million annually, Murdoch said. He has claimed Fox spends more than $30 million on its news division already. 'Of course, the other side of that is we expect significant revenues,' Murdoch added.