Fox News names first female CEO in wake of harassment controversy

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Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Fox News named its first female chief executive officer as it tries to move past allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

Suzanne Scott will lead Fox News and Fox Business Network, according to a statement Thursday. The executive has worked at Fox News since its inception more than two decades ago, most recently as president of programming for Fox News and Fox Business.

Scott takes the role after overseeing a shake-up of Fox News' prime-time lineup last year. The changes included replacing Bill O'Reilly, who was ousted after sexual-harassment allegations, with Tucker Carlson and launching "The Ingraham Angle" at 10 p.m.

After former CEO Roger Ailes left the company in 2016, the job was left vacant. Jack Abernethy, who had been co-president of Fox News and CEO of Fox Television Stations Group, is now giving up the co-president title but continues to oversee the newly expanded stations group and is adding responsibilities with Fox Sports and Fox Broadcasting. Jay Wallace, who oversaw Fox News' news division, was named president and executive editor of Fox News.

The leadership changes comes as Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of media magnate Rupert Murdoch, plans to take the helm of a reformulated corporate parent. 21st Century Fox Inc. is selling most of its entertainment assets to Walt Disney Co., while retaining Fox News and some other cable properties.

The company also continues to settle lawsuits brought by current and former employees alleging racial and gender discrimination, as well as sexual harassment. Fox News' sexual-harassment scandal led to the departure of Ailes. He died in 2017.

Rupert Murdoch, who took an active role in the newsroom during the upheaval, remains executive chairman of Fox News.

—Bloomberg News

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