Fox News names Suzanne Scott as its first female CEO

Suzanne Scott attends an event in 2014. (Getty Images)
Updated 17 May 2018
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Fox News names Suzanne Scott as its first female CEO

New York: Fox News on Thursday named longtime executive Suzanne Scott as chief executive of the cable news channel which is a favorite of conservatives and President Donald Trump.
Scott had served as the president of programming for both Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network and has been with the group since its inception nearly 22 years ago.
“Suzanne has been instrumental in the success of Fox News and she has now made history as its first female CEO,” said Lachlan Murdoch, who is co-executive chairman of parent firm 21st Century Fox.
Fox has been at or near the top of viewer rankings among the three US cable news channels even as it has dealt with turmoil over the ousting of longtime chairman Roger Ailes — who subsequently died — and a series of sexual harassment claims against hosts and executives.
Rupert Murdoch, 87, who launched Fox, took over as executive chairman at the network after Ailes was ousted in 2016 amid sex harassment claims. The elder Murdoch shares the role of executive chairman at parent firm 21st Century Fox with his son.
The media-entertainment group has reached a deal to sell to Walt Disney Co. its Hollywood studios and some television operations, leaving a more tightly focused group centered around Fox News.
The company also said Jay Wallace has been appointed president of Fox News and executive editor, while Jack Abernethy will continue as CEO of the newly expanded Fox Television Stations Group.


Barack and Michelle’s next act: TV deal with Netflix

Updated 22 May 2018
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Barack and Michelle’s next act: TV deal with Netflix

  • The Obamas will have hands-on involvement in producing content and will appear personally in some of the shows while curating others
  • Under the name Higher Ground Productions, the Obamas have the option to produce scripted and unscripted series, documentaries and feature films

LOS ANGELES: Former US President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, have struck a deal to produce films and series for Netflix Inc, the streaming service said on Monday, giving the former first couple a powerful and unprecedented platform to shape their post-White House legacy.
Under the name Higher Ground Productions, the Obamas have the option to produce scripted and unscripted series, documentaries and feature films, Netflix said in a statement.
The Obamas will have hands-on involvement in producing content and will appear personally in some of the shows while curating others, said a person familiar with the deal.
Terms of the multi-year deal were not disclosed and the first of the programming is not expected to reach viewers until about May 2019, the person said.
The agreement between the Obamas and Netflix, which boasts some 125 million subscribers worldwide, is a first for any occupant of the White House.
The closest comparison is former US Vice President Al Gore, whose global warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” won an Oscar in 2007. Gore also launched a youth-oriented cable TV network, Current TV, in 2005 but it was sold to Middle-East based Al Jazeera in 2013, which later shut it down.
The Obamas gave no details of the topics they planned to cover but the content is not expected to be directly political.
Barack Obama in a statement recalled the “fascinating people” from all walks of life that he had met during his eight years in office, ending in January 2017.
“We hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world,” he added.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement that the Obamas are “uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better.”
The deal with the Obamas also marks one of the biggest coups for Netflix in drawing top-level talent away from traditional Hollywood studios and television networks.
In the past year, Netflix has cut deals with Shonda Rhimes, the woman behind hits like “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and Emmy-winning Ryan Murphy, who created “Glee” and directed the TV series “American Crime Story.”
Netflix, which has budgeted $8 billion for programming in 2018, is also producing Martin Scorsese’s next film starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
Barack Obama was the first guest on David Letterman’s return to television in an extended talk show format with Netflix that debuted in January.