Report: Fox News ditches iconic 'Fair and Balanced' slogan

Fox News will reportedly drop its iconic "Fair and Balanced" slogan, the tagline coined by former CEO Roger Ailes when the network was launched in 1996.

New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman reported on Wednesday that Fox News will no longer use the longtime slogan, instead highlighting the network's ratings dominance with the new slogan, "Most Watched. Most Trusted."

According to an insider familiar with the tagline change — which occurred months ago without public notice — the slogan will be used in promotional materials, but won't affect the network's editorial stance or mission.

Fox News has long defended its controversial "Fair and Balanced" slogan, which was mocked by critics for its failure to acknowledge that the network's primetime personalities were overwhelmingly conservative or right-leaning.

During an interview at Business Insider's annual IGNITION conference last year, 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch defended Fox News' "Fair and Balanced" slogan, drawing a distinction between the network's news shows and primetime opinion programming.

See photos of Roger Ailes:

24 PHOTOS
Roger Ailes through the years
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Roger Ailes through the years
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: In this handout photo provided by FOX News, FOX News Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is photographed November 13, 2015 at the networks Manhattan headquarters New York City. (Photo by Wesley Mann/FOX News via Getty Images)
Bill O'Reilly, tv columnist, at left, shown here with Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of FOX tv at the Radio & TV Correspondents annual dinner held at the Washington Hilton. (Photo by Susan Biddle/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
SLUG: ST/AILES DATE: 3/23/99 NP PHOTOG: Helayne Seidman/FTWP multi use LOCATION: Fox News, 1211 6th Ave. NYC SUMMARY: Roger Ailes, president of Fox TV CAPTION: Roger Ailes, president of Fox TV, in the Fox TV control room. Original Filename: npsent.JPG ORG XMIT: ; 29
385602 07: Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, right, testifies during a hearing on election night 2000 coverage by the networks before the House committee on energy and commerce February 14, 2001 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C. Heads of major news organizations have converged on Capitol Hill to testify before Congress, explaining the mistaken calls made on Election Night and promising changes to prevent further errors. (Photo by Alex Wong/Newsmakers)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 25: Chairman and CEO of the Fox News Network Roger Ailes participates in the 'America's Best Leaders: How do they lead? Where are they taking us?' National Issues Briefing hosted by U.S. News and World Report October 25, 2005 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The talk was held in collaboration with the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images for U.S. News and World Report)
NEW YORK - JUNE 26: (L-R) Variety Editor Peter Bart and Producer Roger Ailes attend a cocktail party hosted by Harvey and Bob Weinstein and Miramax Books to celebrate Peter Bart's new book ''BOFFO'' on June 26, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JULY 24: Chairman & CEO, FOX News Roger Ailes from 'Fox News' speaks onstage during the 2006 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour for the FOX Broadcasting Company at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel on July 24, 2006 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Roger Ailes, president of FOX News, poses with his wife Elizabeth on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 11: Fox News President Roger Ailes attends the Hollywood Reporter celebrates 'The 35 Most Powerful People in Media' at the Four Season Grill Room on April 11, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: In this handout photo provided by FOX News, FOX News Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is photographed November 13, 2015 at the networks Manhattan headquarters New York City. (Photo by Wesley Mann/FOX News via Getty Images)
Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Television Stations, answers questions during a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Pasadena, California July 24, 2006. Picture taken July 24, 2006. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File Photo
Fox News chief and CEO Roger Ailes speaks during a panel session titled "Democracy and the Media: Are They Compatible?" at the 2005 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills April 19, 2005. The Milken Institute is an independent economic think tank, which works to improve the lives and economic conditions of diverse populations in the United States and around the world. REUTERS/Fred Prouser FSP/JK
News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch (R) speaks at a press conference in New York January 30 where it was announced that cable-TV figure Roger Ailes (L) would head the new Fox 24-hour news network. Murdoch said he would spend $80 million a year on the project which will compete with CNN and similar networks planned by ABC and NBC
Prominent cable-TV figure Roger Ailes appears at a press conference in New York January 30 where he was named to head the new Fox 24-hour news network. News Corporation chief Rupert-Murdoch, who made the announcement, said he would spend $80 million a year on the project
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 19: Fox News chairman Roger Ailes walks with his wife Elizabeth Tilson as they leave the News Corp building, July 19, 2016 in New York City. As of late Tuesday afternoon, Ailes and 21st Century Fox are reportedly in discussions concerning his departure from his position as chairman of Fox News. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08: Janice Min and Roger Ailes attend 'The 35 Most Powerful People In Media' celebrated by The Hollywoood Reporter at Four Seasons Restaurant on April 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 07: Elizabeth Tilson Ailes and Television Producer Roger Ailes attend the Carnegie Hall 125th Season Opening Night Gala at Carnegie Hall on October 7, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: President of FOX News Roger Ailes attends the 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' New York premiere at SVA Theater on February 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Roger Ailes attends Erica Rivera's 40th Birthday hosted by Geraldo Rivera at Monkey Bar on January 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Geraldo Rivera)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Roger Ailes, Alisyn Camerota and Geraldo Rivera attend Erica Rivera's 40th Birthday hosted by Geraldo Rivera at Monkey Bar on January 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Geraldo Rivera)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 14: In this handout image provided by FOX News Channel, FOX News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes (C) as well as featured keynote speakers, Roy Eaton (L), advertising pioneer and L. Douglas Wilder, former Governor of Virginia attend the Ailes Apprentice Program graduation at FOX News Channel headquarters on November 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by FOX News Channel via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 14: In this handout image provided by FOX News Channel, FOX News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes (C) as well as featured keynote speakers, Roy Eaton (not pictured), advertising pioneer and L. Douglas Wilder (not pictured), former Governor of Virginia attend the Ailes Apprentice Program graduation at FOX News Channel headquarters on November 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by FOX News Channel via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Kreskin and Chairman Fox News and Fox Television Stations Roger Ailes attend the 'Conversations With Kreskin' Book Launch Celebration at Patsy's on November 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
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"There's a real difference between the news reporting and news gathering and the opinion shows — the sort of talk shows that occupy primetime and I think sort of get people excited," Murdoch said. "They are certainly provocative, the opinion shows. But they are opinion shows, and they're labeled that way."

The 21st Century Fox executive pointed to Fox anchors Bret Baier and Chris Wallace as "absolutely fair and balanced," noting the network believes it is "really important to understand that distinction between primetime, personality-driven opinion shows, and the more general news coverage."

"I don't think it is necessarily of one view," Murdoch said. "I think the contrast between a Megyn Kelly and a Bill O'Reilly and a Sean Hannity and a Tucker Carlson ... I think there's a high contrast between those shows."

Since Ailes departed the network amid sexual harassment allegations last year, Fox News has seen the departure of several top hosts and staffers, as well as a reshuffling of its primetime lineup.

UPDATE (6/15): A FOX News spokesperson confirmed that the network hasn't used the slogan in external marketing or on-air promotions since August 2016, but said "the shift has nothing to do with programming or editorial decisions."

See photos of Bill O'Reilly:

25 PHOTOS
Bill O'Reilly through the years
See Gallery
Bill O'Reilly through the years
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Talk Show Host Bill O'Reilly is seen on October 17, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0263 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bill O'Reilly and host Jimmy Fallon on May 14, 2015 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 23: Author Bill O'Reilly attends the 'Killing Jesus' World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on March 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 23: (L-R) The cast of Nat Geo's 'Killing Jesus' Haaz Sleiman, Eoin Macken, Stephanie Leonidas, Alexis Rodney, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Joe Doyle, Chris Ryman and Kelsey Grammer pose with 'Killing Jesus' book author, Bill O'Reilly (C) at the red carpet event and world premiere of National Geographic Channel's 'Killing Jesus' at Alice Tully Hall on March 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for National Geographic Channel)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 23: 'Killing Jesus' book author, Bill O'Reilly attends the red carpet event and world premiere of National Geographic Channel's 'Killing Jesus' at Alice Tully Hall on March 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: Bill O'Reilly appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 0142-- Pictured: (l-r) Bill O'Reilly during an interview with host Seth Meyers on December 17, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: Bill O'Reilly (R) interviews Katie Couric during her visit to 'The O'Reilly Factor' at FOX Studios on May 13, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: Rob Lowe talks to host Bill O'Reilly at Fox News' 'The O'Reilly Factor' at Fox News Studios on April 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28: Bill O'Reilly attends the National Geographic Channel's 'Killing Kennedy' World Premiere at The Newseum on October 28, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: TV personality Bill O'Reilly enters the 'Late Show With David Letterman' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on October 16, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Television host Bill O'Reilly is seen exiting'Good Morning America' studios on May 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 27: Bill O'Reilly, host of FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, waits for the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama during an event about Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' initiative in the East Room at the White House February 27, 2014 in Washington, DC. As part of his 'Year of Action,' Obama announced a $200 million commitment from nine foundations to bolster the education and employment of young men and boys of color. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0170 -- Pictured: Author Bill O'Reilly on November 25, 2014 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 18: TV Personality Bill O'Reilly attends An Evening with Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera at 92nd Street Y on June 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 04: Donald Trump and Bill O'Reilly attend the game between the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden on November 30, 2014 in New York City.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 18: (L-R) TV Personalites Geraldo Rivera and Bill O'Reilly attend An Evening with Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera at 92nd Street Y on June 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: Bill O'Reilly appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Bill O'Reilly attends the 11th annual Giants of Broadcasting Honors at Gotham Hall on October 16, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
THE VIEW - (10.1.13) Today's guest co-host is Jason Biggs ('Orange is the New Black.') Guests include Bill OReilly (author, Killing Jesus); Matt Long and Lorraine Bruce (ABC's 'Lucky 7') on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) BARBARA WALTERS, BILL O'REILLY
Regis Philbin talks with Bill O'Reilly, of the O'Reilly Report, during the Court TV celebration of it's 10th anniversary at American Park inside Battery Park in New York City on July 18, 2001. photo by Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect
Bill O'Reilly attends the benefit for Homeless Children on November 16, 1989 at Letizia Restaurant in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4420 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bill O'Reilly during an interview with host Jay Leno on March 1, 2013 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Bill O'Reilly appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
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