Longtime Fox News veteran Suzanne Scott has been named the new CEO of both Fox News and Fox Business Network.
Scott most recently was president of programming for both Fox News and FBN and has been with Fox News since its inception nearly 22 years ago. As head of programming, she steered Fox News through several changes in 2017, including the ouster of Bill O’Reilly, who was fired after multiple sexual harassment allegations were leveled against him.
Scott will report jointly to Lachlan Murdoch, chairman of 21st Century Fox and the 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 the proposed 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 a statement. “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 & FBN for years to come.”
Not everyone is thrilled to see Scott take the lead role at the networks. According to the Washington Post, attorney Nancy Erika Smith has criticized the hire. Smith represented former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson in a 2016 lawsuit that led to Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes being fired. She said that putting Scott in charge indicates Fox News has “no intention of changing its culture.”
In addition to announcing Scott’s hire, Fox News said that Jay Wallace has been appointed president of Fox News and executive editor, and that Jack Abernethy, who worked as co-president of Fox News since August of 2016, will continue as CEO of the growing Fox Television Stations Group.
All of this comes days after Fox announced that the proposed New Fox, which would be what’s left of the company following a $52.4 billion asset sale to Disney, would be led by Lachlan Murdoch. His brother James Murdoch, who is currently CEO of 21st Century Fox, will reportedly leave the company.