Two company veterans will serve as co-presidents of Fox News in one of the most important leadership changes in the American news industry.
Rupert Murdoch, who currently helms Fox News as interim CEO after Roger Ailes stepped down last month, named Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine as co-presidents on Friday, with the appointment effective immediately.
Having been part of Fox since 1996, Abernethy has risen to become Fox Television Stations' chief executive while Shine functioned as Fox's senior executive vice president.
The two worked for years under the leadership of Ailes, who was CEO and founding chairman of the news group for two decades.
Roger Ailes' Resignation
As Ailes steered the ship — right from the inception of Fox News — the company became the most influential medium for airing conservative views on cable television. But allegations of sexual harassment, which Ailes denied, prompted him to resign as CEO.
In July, Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News anchor, lodged a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes, alleging she was terminated from the network after she refused to have sexual relations with him. Fox soon ordered an internal review of the accusations made by Carlson and other female employees who claimed to have had the same encounters with Ailes for decades.
Amid the turmoil, Murdoch recognized Ailes' "remarkable contribution to our company and our country."
"Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years," Murdoch said at the time of Ailes' departure.
Is It Business As Usual At Fox?
With the U.S. well into the election season, the naming of Abernethy and Shine as co-presidents points to Fox's decision to continue the same market positioning established by Ailes.
"While this has been a time of great transition," Murdoch says, "there has never been a greater opportunity for Fox News and Fox Business to better serve and expand their audiences."
For his part, Abernethy will remain in charge of Fox Television Stations, and manage finance and ad sales at the Fox News Channel and Fox Business News.
Shine, meanwhile, will helm network programming, production and news functions, and also manage the talent pool. During the election season, he will also take charge of strategic planning.
Given these leadership changes, will Fox News enter a new era post-Ailes?
"There is no desire or need to shift the position it has in the market," says Lachlan Murdoch, co-executive chairman of Fox News. The company is reportedly on track to register its highest-rated year ever.