Starting immediately, Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy and Senior EVP Bill Shine will serve as Co-Presidents. With the former handling the business aspect and the latter in charge of programming, the duo will report directly to Rupert Murdoch, who had taken over FNC in the days after then-CEO Ailes was pushed out as the channel neared its 20th anniversary. FNC will not have a new CEO yet, with Murdoch continuing to hold the Chairman title.
Among other management moves, FNC also said Friday that CFO Mark Kranz will be retiring after nearly 20-years at the organization. Sources tell me that this was a planned exit by Kranz and not to take some of the fallout of the on-going Ailes scandal.
“While this has been a time of great transition, there has never been a greater opportunity for FOX News and FOX Business to better serve and expand their audiences,”said the Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox and Executive Chairman of FOX News Channel & FOX Business Network today in a statement. There was no mention of Ailes in the announcements nor of the status of the lawsuit filed by ex-Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson on July 6 or settlement talks. Though Murdoch did assert that “together with our worldwide team of dedicated professionals, we are the most influential and powerful brand in television.”
“Jack was integral to the launch and success of FOX News nearly 20 years ago and we’re delighted he’s returning to take on this additional role,” said the Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox and Executive Chairman of FOX News Channel & FOX Business Network today in a statement. “As we continue to benefit from his strong leadership of Fox Television Stations, his strategic vision and deep knowledge of the cable news business will ensure continued growth of FOX News and FOX Business Network for generations to come.”
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“Bill Shine has developed and produced a signature primetime that has dominated the cable news landscape for 14 of his 20 years with FOX News,” Murdoch added of Ailes’ long time right hand man. “His leadership and keen eye for programming has played a fundamental role in the success of both FOX News and FOX Business Network.”
As more claims of sexual harassment and more questions of who knew what when at Fox News swirl, the strategic shifts today also saw Suzanne Scott named EVP of Programming and Development for FNC. Additionally, Jay Wallace was solidified in the EVP News Editorial role that the long time employee was promoted to in April.
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