Hope Hicks, formerly a close aide to President Trump, is joining “new Fox,” the TV company that will be left after 21st Century Fox completes the sale of its production and entertainment cable assets to Walt Disney Co.
The company announced Monday that Hicks will serve as executive vice president and chief communications officer for Fox, which will include its broadcast network, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports and 28 television stations.
Hicks, 29, resigned as White House communications director in February. She previously worked for the Trump Organization, became Trump's campaign press secretary in 2015, joined the White House as director of strategic communications in January 2017 and was promoted to White House communications director that August.
She announced her resignation from the White House the day after she refused to answer key questions from the House Intelligence Committee and at the end of a rocky month during which she was under fire for mishandling the White House response to spousal abuse allegations against Rob Porter, Trump's staff secretary whom Hicks reportedly had been dating.
The former model also reportedly acknowledged during the committee hearing that she told "white lies" on behalf of Trump, an admission that would cast doubt on future statements on behalf of the White House.
“She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person,” Trump said in a statement after her White House resignation, adding: “I am sure we will work together again in the future.”
The appointment of Hicks highlights the ties between the Trump White House and Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.
Two former employees of Fox News, the conservative-leaning cable channel whose commentators offer the staunchest support of Trump and his policies, are now part of the administration: Former co-president Bill Shine now has Hicks’ former White House post, and former anchor Heather Nauert is a spokesperson for the State Department.
Trump, meanwhile, tapped former Fox News contributor John Bolton to be his national security advisor in March. Murdoch has been a friend and informal advisor to Trump, and the president has cited Fox News as his favorite information source.
But communications executives cycling out of the White House and into high-profile positions at media companies is not unusual.
When NBC was owned by General Electric, the network’s communications department had two heads who had worked in former President George H.W. Bush’s administration. One of them was Judy Smith, who was Bush’s deputy press secretary and later became a consultant on the ABC hit “Scandal.” The other was Anna Perez, who served as press secretary to former First Lady Barbara Bush and as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush during his time in office.
Former Clinton White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers currently serves as Warner Bros.’ executive vice president for corporate communications and public affairs.
Many of the members of the public relations staffs at network TV news divisions have White House and Beltway positions on their resumes.
Hicks’ new employer, informally known as new Fox, is still taking shape. Murdoch’s son Lachlan is overseeing the company that will form once 21st Century Fox completes its $71-billion sale of studio and cable network assets to Disney. The company, which will still control the Fox broadcast network and the Fox News Channel, is expected to focus on live sports, news and the local TV business.
Times staff writers Noah Bierman and Brian Bennett contributed to this report.