Rupert Murdoch Names New Leadership at FOX News

FOX News has named Senior Executive Vice President Bill Shine and Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy as Co-Presidents effective immediately. The two will report to the network’s founder Rupert Murdoch, who made the announcement on Friday. The changes follow weeks of media speculation after the abrupt resignation of former CEO Roger Ailes, who helped found the network alongside Murdoch. 

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Murdoch, who also serves as Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox and Executive Chairman of FOX News Channel & FOX Business Network, also announced Suzanne Scott has been named Executive Vice President of Programming and Development for FNC. In her role, she will oversee the news channel’s daytime and primetime opinion shows and lead development of new programming. In addition, Jay Wallace, Executive Vice President of News Editorial, will continue to manage the news division. Both will report to Shine.

Separately, Chief Financial Officer Mark Kranz will be retiring. Kranz held a number of roles after joining the company in 1997.

Ailes stepped down last month after being sued for sexual harassment by former FOX anchor Gretchen Carlson. Following her allegations, multiple former and current female employees reportedly came forward alleging Ailes of improper conduct, according to the Wall Street Journal. An independent investigation by lawfirm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is ongoing.

The appointments follow weeks of media speculation over the future leadership of FOX News which is on track to have one of its best year's in history amid the heated race for the White House. The FOX Business Network has also had a string of ratings wins in recent weeks against rival Comcast (NYSE:CMCSA) owned CNBC. 

During Twenty-First Century Fox’s earnings conference call earlier this month, James Murdoch, CEO, was asked if the recent management shake-up would impact business.

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“There is no desire or need to shift the position that it has in the market. It's a very successful business and we are just undergoing a transition to the new leadership. That should not flag at all a transition of the underlying positioning or the strategy of the channel” he said. Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chairman, also addressed the channel's future on the call. "We have moved quickly and decisively to protect the business, to protect its employees and to protect a unique and important voice, Fox News Broadcast."

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