Suzanne Scott, the Fox News Channel programming boss who has been with FNC since it launched 22 years ago, has been named CEO of Fox News, which encompasses Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. The move is part of a restructuring at the top of Fox News, with Jay Wallace, formerly FNC president of news, appointed president and executive editor.
Jack Abernethy, who had been co-president of Fox News, shifts to full-time focus as as CEO of the expanded Fox Television Stations Group, a core part of the New Fox company that will form after 21st Century Fox’s merger with Disney is finalized. Abernethy will relocate to Los Angeles to be closer to New Fox divisions Fox Broadcasting with and Fox Sports.
Scott will report jointly to Lachlan Murdoch, the newly minted chairman and CEO of the proposed New Fox, and Rupert Murdoch, 21st Century Fox executive chairman, executive chairman of Fox News and co-chairman of New Fox.
“Suzanne has been instrumental in the success of Fox News and she has now made history as its first female CEO,” Lachlan Murdoch said in announcing her promotion. “Her vision and innovation have helped create some of the most popular and lucrative primetime programs on cable and as we embark on the era of the proposed New Fox, I am confident that Suzanne’s leadership will ensure the dominance of both Fox News and FBN for years to come.”
Abernethy was named co-president of Fox News along with Bill Shine in August 2016 amid the sexual harassment probes that engulfed FNC, leading to chief Roger Ailes’ resignation and eventually star Bill O’Reilly’s exit. Shine eventually resigned in May 2017, with Rupert Murdoch taking over and elevating Scott and Wallace in the process.
“I am incredibly honored and humbled to take on this new role and very thankful to Rupert and Lachlan for their leadership and confidence in me to run Fox News,” Scott said. “I am beyond proud of our incredible team and the success we have built as a network.”
21st Century Fox has been working to evolve the culture at its flagship FNC, still the leader among cable news networks, getting its ducks in a row ahead of its proposed $52.4 billion asset sale to Disney. The post-sale Murdoch-run empire known for now as New Fox would consist of FNC; Fox Business Network; Fox Broadcasting Company; Fox Sports; Fox Television Stations Group; and sports cable networks FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and Big Ten Network.
Earlier this week, 21st Century Fox reached a deal worth a reported $10 million to settle a swath of discrimination lawsuits that had emerged since the scandals involving Ailes and O’Reilly broke.