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Fox News co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy sign long-term deals after replacing Roger Ailes

Fox News co-presidents Bill Shine, seen here in 2014, and Jack Abernethy will remain in their leadership roles at the channel.
(Getty)

Fox News parent 21st Century Fox has given a vote of confidence to recently named Co-Presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy by signing them to long-term contracts.

Shine and Abernethy were promoted to their posts Aug. 12, several weeks after the resignation of Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, who left amid charges of sexual harassment by former employees.

“Jack and Bill have been instrumental in Fox News’ continued dominance in the ratings and historic earnings performance,” Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, said Wednesday in a statement. “I am delighted they’ve each signed new deals, ensuring stability and leadership to help guide the network for years to come.”

Shine, 53, was a close lieutenant to Ailes for more than 20 years, rising to executive vice president in charge of programming in 2014. There has been media speculation that he would be implicated in the company’s investigation of the charges against Ailes.

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Instead, the low-profile Shine was elevated and appears to be secure in his position because 21st Century Fox is looking for stability at its highly profitable news operation.

Fox News Channel is having the best year in its two decade history, ranking as the most-watched network in all of cable in recent weeks.

Shine runs all programming and editorial functions of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. He first joined Fox News in 1996 as a producer for the prime-time program “Hannity & Colmes.”

Abernethy, 60, oversees finance, advertising sales and distribution for the Fox News entities. He also oversees Fox’s 28 owned and operated television Stations.

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The two executives, who continue to report to Murdoch, were named to their posts after Ailes’ departure July 21. The powerful founding executive of Fox News was brought down by a lawsuit filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson, which alleged that Ailes undermined her career in retaliation for rebuffing his sexual advances. Carlson’s contract with the network was not renewed in June, and she filed the suit July 6.

21st Century Fox settled the lawsuit with Carlson, issuing an apology and paying her $20 million. The company also gave monetary settlements to other former employees who came forward about previous sexual harassment incidents after Carlson filed her suit.

Ailes, who left Fox News with a $40-million severance, has denied all allegations.

stephen.battaglio@latimes.com

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Twitter: @SteveBattaglio


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