Fox News Names 2 Insiders to Top Posts

The News Corporation building in New York. Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of News Corporation and chief executive of Fox News, announced leadership changes at Fox News on Friday. Credit Kevin Hagen/Getty Images

In assuming the leadership of Fox News last month, Rupert Murdoch pledged a fresh start at a network reeling from accusations that its longtime chairman, Roger Ailes, had overseen a culture of harassment and intimidation.

But on Friday, Mr. Murdoch made clear that — for now at least — Fox’s new era will be led by its old guard.

Two veteran executives with deep ties to Mr. Ailes were named co-presidents of Fox News, the network announced, a nod toward corporate stability that was also taken as a sign that Mr. Murdoch was not yet prepared to fully overhaul management at one of his most profitable franchises.

Bill Shine, an affable Ailes loyalist who is well liked by some of the network’s longest-serving anchors, like Sean Hannity, will oversee programming at Fox News and Fox Business Network. Jack Abernethy, a trusted Murdoch hand who runs Fox’s television station group, was placed in charge of business operations, including finance and advertising sales.

The appointments are Mr. Murdoch’s first major personnel moves at the network since the ouster of Mr. Ailes, whose 20-year tenure was upturned by sexual harassment allegations by a former anchor, Gretchen Carlson. And it suggested that Mr. Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, are now focused on calming an unsettled newsroom, even as more women come forward with troubling stories about the network’s culture under Mr. Ailes.

“Anybody who expected seismic changes was wrong,” said Andrew Heyward, a former president of CBS News. “This sends a strong signal to a jittery, shaken staff that Fox News plans to stay the course.”

Mr. Murdoch, 85, who named himself executive chairman of Fox News on Friday, is expected to take a hands-on role there at least through the presidential election in November. Since becoming acting chief executive in July, Mr. Murdoch has been a constant presence in the Manhattan newsroom, piping up at news meetings and greeting employees in the hall. He recently moved into Mr. Ailes’s corner office on the second floor.

Still, the fallout from the scandal is not over: An investigation by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison into other allegations against Mr. Ailes is continuing. The inquiry has expanded into whether other executives knew of any improper behavior and failed to act on it.

On Friday, Fox also announced that its longtime chief financial officer, Mark Kranz, would retire. His departure was linked to his oversight of the network’s finances during a period when financial settlements were made with women who had complained of harassment, according to two people who requested anonymity to describe internal matters.

Fox News is a significant source of profit for its parent company, 21st Century Fox, and the Murdochs would prefer smooth operations at the cable channel during a tumultuous election season that has resulted in record ratings. The elder Mr. Murdoch has said he is committed to maintaining Fox’s “distinctive, powerful” voice, curbing the predictions of those who thought that the right-leaning views of Fox’s opinion anchors might soften in the absence of Mr. Ailes.

Mr. Shine, 53, has been with Fox since shortly after the channel debuted in 1996. He is a favored figure among some veteran anchors, including Mr. Hannity, who first recommended him to Mr. Ailes for a job. A Long Island native, Mr. Shine cut his teeth at the network producing Mr. Hannity’s program and working closely with personalities like Bill O’Reilly.

His appointment was widely viewed as a sign of stability at a chaotic time, particularly with newsroom gossip focused on whether top-tier anchors could leave in the wake of Mr. Ailes’s departure.

Since Ms. Carlson went public with her allegations on July 6, a schism has developed within Fox News between Fox News loyalists — some of whom owe their careers to Mr. Ailes — upset at his ouster and others who either did not come forward or were dismayed by those who were defending Mr. Ailes before the investigation was complete.

“I could not be happier with the new management team at Fox News Channel,” the anchor Greta Van Susteren, who also worked closely with Mr. Shine, wrote on Twitter on Friday. “Each is well liked and well respected; Thank you Rupert!”

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