2 Fox News execs named co-presidents, will report to Murdoch

NEW YORK — Fox News Channel founder Rupert Murdoch on Friday appointed two longtime Fox executives as the new co-presidents of the news network as it restructures after last month's departure of Roger Ailes following sexual harassment allegations.

Both Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine were with Fox News when it started in 1996. Shine, who had been one of Ailes' top deputies, will run the editorial operations for Fox News and its sister Fox Business Network. Abernethy had left the news channel to run Fox's stable of 28 local stations and he'll keep that job, while overseeing the business operations of the two networks. Both will report to Murdoch, who will continue to oversee things as executive chairman.

The moves sent a signal to Fox News viewers that despite a scandal that has widened since Ailes' resignation, they shouldn't worry that their favorite network is abandoning them.

Fox also announced Friday that its chief financial officer, Mark Kranz, will retire. Faced with a drumbeat of publicity about the treatment of women at Fox, Murdoch announced the promotion of Suzanne Scott to be the executive in charge of Fox News' daytime and prime-time programming.

"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," Murdoch said.

Murdoch's son Lachlan, in a recent earnings call for parent company 21st Century Fox, said that he expected no change in Fox's editorial direction. Friday's announcement also tamped down speculation that there would be a housecleaning of top Fox executives.

There was no immediate comment from 21st Century Fox on Friday about what the announcement meant — if anything — about the status of an investigation by the law firm Paul, Weiss into Fox's operations that started after former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes.

Since Ailes' resignation, New York magazine reported that a former booker for the network, Laurie Luhn, alleged that she'd been sexually harassed by Ailes over a period of 20 years at the network. Another former Fox anchor, Andrea Tantaros, said she was let go after she complained about unwanted sexual comments from Ailes; Fox said she was terminated for failing to get network approval of a book she had written.

In both of those cases, questions were raised about how much Shine and other executives at Fox knew about what was going on with Ailes. Shine has denied knowledge of any wrongdoing.

A lawyer representing Tantaros did not immediately return a call for comment on Friday.

Related News

Terminally ill woman holds party before ending...

Aug 11, 2016

Betsy Davis, an artist with Lou Gehrig's disease, threw a two-day party last month to say goodbye...

CW's 'Supergirl' and 'The Flash' planning musical...

Aug 11, 2016

The CW's 'Supergirl' and 'The Flash' to air a pair of crossover musical episodes later in the...

Daughter of Motown stars to Detroit students:...

Aug 11, 2016

The daughter of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and one of its biggest stars, Diana Ross, says...

Stephen Colbert, Showtime in talks for live...

Aug 11, 2016

Showtime is in talks with Stephen Colbert to host a live election-night comedy special, the...

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah each land a Showtime...

Aug 11, 2016

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah will each star in their own half-hour comedy series for Showtime

Bollywood's Shah Rukh Khan gets US apology for...

Aug 12, 2016

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan tweeted that he gets detained at U.S. airports "every damn time"...

Must Read

Daughter of Motown stars to Detroit students:...

Aug 11, 2016

The daughter of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and one of its biggest stars, Diana Ross, says...

Judge overturns conviction of nephew in 'Making a...

Aug 13, 2016

A judge has overturned the conviction of a Wisconsin man found guilty of helping his uncle kill a...

Video proves Clinton suffering seizures? Not so,...

Aug 13, 2016

Video purporting to show Clinton suffering a seizure is latest in unfounded speculation

At 93, legendary climber Fred Beckey still...

Aug 13, 2016

Legendary Seattle climber Fred Beckey is the focus of a new documentary film about his life

Last Riviera casino tumbles down after Vegas...

Aug 16, 2016

A second tower of the iconic Riviera Hotel and Casino has been reduced to rubble after an overnight...

Sign up now!