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:

"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:

NOW WATCH: Watch students walk out during Pence's commencement speech

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Fox flirts with a new formula for the Trump and post-Roger Ailes era