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Suzanne Scott promoted to chief executive of Fox News

Suzanne Scott promoted to chief executive of Fox News
Suzanne Scott is the new chief executive of Fox News, putting her in charge of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. (Fox News)

Suzanne Scott has been been elevated to chief executive of Fox News, the company announced Thursday.

Scott was one of the original executives when Fox News was founded in 1996. Her appointment puts a woman in the top leaderhip role at the 21st Century Fox unit nearly two years after the sexual harassment scandal that brought down the division's founding chief executive, Roger Ailes.

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As chief executive, Scott will be in charge of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. Aside from Ailes, no one has ever held the chief executive title at the division since it launched in 1996.

Since May 2017, Scott had been president of Fox News programming. Jack Abernethy, who had been co-president of Fox News since August 2016, will no longer have a formal role in the operation.

Abernethy remains chief executive of the Fox Television Stations Group and will move to Los Angeles, where he will work more closely with the Fox broadcast network operation. The TV stations group, sports and news are expected to be the main focus of the company, being called New Fox, after 21st Century Fox's proposed deal to sell its TV and movie production assets to Walt Disney Co. for $52.4 billion.

A statement from 21st Century Fox Chairman Lachlan Murdoch said: "Suzanne has been instrumental in the success of Fox News, and she has now made history as its first female CEO. 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."

Jay Wallace, who most recently served as president of news and editorial for Fox News, will take on the new title of president and executive editor.

Fox News confirmed this week it has reached a settlement with a group of former employees who had filed lawsuits that included allegations of racial and gender discrimination.

The spokesperson for the cable news channel declined to discuss the terms of the settlement. However, a person with knowledge of the agreement said it involved about 20 cases for close to $10 million.

Twitter: @SteveBattaglio

UPDATES:

2:20 p.m.: This article was updated to include a Fox News settlement with a group of former employees.

This article was originally published at 9:10 a.m.

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