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After O’Reilly’s Ouster, Rupert Murdoch Lunches With Fox News Co-Presidents

Variety logo Variety 4/24/2017 Ted Johnson
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After a week of tumult at Fox News, Rupert Murdoch lunched with Fox News co-presidents Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine at one of New York’s highly visible lunch spots.

O’Reilly’s ouster raised questions of whether other changes could be in the works for Fox News, but Murdoch’s lunch with the two co-president suggested a show of support. They were spotted by photographers leaving the restaurant, Marea, by an Associated Press photographer.

Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, is also executive chairman and CEO of Fox News, a title he took after the departure of Roger Ailes last year.

O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. ET timeslot is being filled by Tucker Carlson, and will be followed by “The Five.”

While some of the groups that waged campaigns to pressure sponsors of “The O’Reilly Factor” have vowed to continue to press the network for further changes, the network has pointed to a number of other moves made in recent months, including the hiring of Kevin Lord as executive vice president in charge of human resources.

Its longtime comptroller, Judy Slater, was fired in March, for what the network called “abhorrent behavior.” Frankie Cortes, vice president for Fox News Latino, was fired amid allegations of sexual assault. The network settled the claim with his accuser, former contributor Tamara Holder.

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