Suzanne Scott’s vision for Fox News is put to the test in court

However, the Murdochs were forced to make tough decisions about even their most popular CEO when scandal took hold. In 2010, Fox Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch reluctantly ousted Rebekah Brooks, who ran his British newspapers and was a close protégé, amid a police investigation into phone hacking by journalists who worked for her.


How Times reporters cover politics. We rely on our journalists to be independent observers. So while Times employees are allowed to vote, they are not allowed to endorse candidates or campaign for political causes. This includes attending marches or rallies in support of a movement, or donating or raising funds for political candidates or electoral causes.

Ms. Scott maintains a much more discreet profile than her predecessor, Roger Ailes, a Republican presidential whisperer who maintained a Svengali-like image in the media before numerous allegations of sexual harassment led to his downfall.

She was raised in northern New Jersey, where she now resides with her husband and teenage daughter. Her first job for Fox was as an assistant to one of Mr. Ailes’ senior deputies. Her first major promotion was a position as executive producer on Greta Van Susteren’s show. She would then oversee network talent and then program.

Colleagues say she pays close attention to what’s playing on Fox, often watching from her office and occasionally giving advice to producers and presenters on how sets could look better, outfits could be sharper and guests could be more compelling.

Under her leadership, Fox News has one of the largest viewerships not only on cable television but on all television, occasionally attracting more viewers than traditional broadcasters like ABC. And Fox News rakes in far higher ad rates than its competitors — an average of nearly $9,000 for a 30-second prime-time commercial, compared to about $6,200 for CNN and $5,300 for MSNBC, according to the Standard Media Index , an independent research company. (One of the authors of this article, Jeremy W. Peters, is an MSNBC contributor.)

As executive director, Ms. Scott has adopted an overwhelmingly deferential view of dealing with talent, current and past hosts said.

Mr. Ailes believed that no host should ever assume it’s bigger than the network – or he is. For example, in 2010, after Mr. Hannity made plans to broadcast his show from a Tea Party rally in Cincinnati, where organizers had billed him as the main attraction, Mr. Ailes ordered the host to scrap his plans and to return to New York under threat “to put a chimpanzee on the air” if he didn’t make it back in time, a former Fox employee recalled.

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