Jack Abernethy, Bill Shine Named Fox News Co-Presidents

Execs will report to Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch Fox News

Fox News announced a new senior leadership team and management structure on Friday, naming Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy and senior executive vice president Bill Shine co-presidents, effective immediately.

Abernethy and Shine will divide responsibilities and report to 21st Century Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, who will remain executive chairman of both Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.

Abernethy will oversee all business components of Fox News and Fox Business, including finance, advertising sales and distribution units. Shine will run all programming and news functions of each network, including production, technical operations and talent management.

It’s noteworthy that Shine is being promoted; suspended Fox News host Andrea Tantaros recently told New York magazine that he knew about her claims of sexual harassment by former CEO Roger Ailes.

“Andrea never made any complaints to me about Roger Ailes sexually harassing her,” Shine said through a Fox News spokesperson when the allegations were originally made.

Ailes resigned last month after former host Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit that resulted in numerous women coming forward with similar claims. There was widespread speculation that Murdoch would clean house, but Shine is known as an Ailes protégé.

“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 said in a statement. “His leadership and keen eye for programming has played a fundamental role in the success of both Fox News and Fox Business Network.”

New York magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman, who has been out in front of the Ailes scandal, tweeted, “First thoughts on Fox News leadership announcement: this is Ailes’s existing management team.”

Abernethy — who will continue to oversee 28 local Fox owned and operated stations — has been with the company since Fox News launched in 1996. Shine has also been with the network since it launched, and he most recently ran all programming.

“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,” Murdoch said. “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.”

Additionally, Suzanne Scott has been named executive vice president of programming and development and will report to Shine. She will supervise Fox News’ opinion shows and lead development of new programming.

Current executive vice president of news editorial Jay Wallace will continue to oversee the news division and will also report to Shine. It was also announced on Friday that Fox News CFO Mark Kranz would retire after 19 years at the network.

“Mark Kranz was instrumental in increasing profitability across all of our key properties. We are grateful for his many contributions to the company and we extend our best wishes to him as he embarks on a new chapter,” Murdoch said.