Fox Corp. has signed Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott to a multiyear contract extension.
Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch announced the deal on the company’s quarterly earnings call Tuesday morning, citing the programming changes she is making at the channels, including the move to add Larry Kudlow (as Lou Dobbs exits) at Fox Business Network.
Scott, a 25-year veteran of Fox News, was named CEO in 2018, overseeing the cable news channels Fox News and Fox Business Network and digital platforms Fox News Digital, Fox Nation and the forthcoming Fox Weather.
Fox News, despite record-breaking election ratings, has stumbled somewhat in the post-election period, with CNN and MSNBC seeing their ratings surge. Murdoch told those on the call that they were “confident that the strength and breadth” of Fox News would ultimately allow the channel to once again “dominate.”
“We fully expect that the overall news audience will normalize,” Murdoch said. Indeed, since Joe Biden’s inauguration, Fox’s ratings have slowly improved, particularly in primetime where it has retaken the lead from CNN and MSNBC.
That being said, Fox is also facing a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit from the voting machine firm Smartmatic, which argues that opinion hosts like Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro engaged in a deliberate effort to smear the company. Fox filed its response Monday evening, arguing that responsibility ultimately lies with President Trump and his attorneys, not the news channel that covered their comments or invited them to speak.
On the company’s earnings call, Murdoch was asked how the cable news channel, under Scott’s leadership, plans to grow. Murdoch said that even as pay-TV subscribers decline, Fox believes it will be able to drive price increases from distributors to make up for those losses. He also says that Fox News is laser-focused on what it believes is a large target audience.
“In the journalism trade, you work out what your market is, and you produce the best product you can possibly produce for that target market. The success of Fox News, throughout its entire history, has been to provide the absolute best news and opinion for a market that we firmly believe is center-right,” Murdoch said. “We believe that where we are targeted, to the center-right, is where we should be targeted. We don’t believe we should go further right [as competitors Newsmax and OANN are] … and absolutely we won’t go to the left.”