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Suzanne Scott sits atop the most watched operation in cable news, and easily the most controversial. She has managed to keep out of the spotlight during her long run at Fox News — viewers certainly know who Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson are, but not her. Yet her anonymity may no longer be possible.
Since ascending to CEO of the unit that manages Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network 11 months ago, Scott, 53, has presided over an organization that continues to be enveloped by a cyclone of criticism from detractors, who think Fox News functions as a propaganda machine for President Trump and his White House.
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But Scott, like her late boss, Roger Ailes, who was forced out in 2016 amid a flood of sexual harassment allegations, is unapologetic about the channel’s primetime lineup of contentious right-wing hosts as she attempts to turn the page on an era of scandal and turmoil.
In her first lengthy interview since taking over the top job last May, Scott wants it known that she brings a different style of leadership than her pugnacious predecessor, and that she pays more attention to the demands of Fox News viewers than she does to scathing commentary from critics on social media and television news programs who refer to her network as “state-run media.”
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“We became No. 1 under President Bush. We stayed No. 1 under President Obama. We are still No. 1,” she says. “My focus is on business.”
Scott has nearly 23 years invested in making Fox News a contender. She has been a programming force behind everything from commentator Greta Van Susteren to afternoon roundtable “The Five.” “She was smart and she had instincts,” recalls Van Susteren, who left the network in 2016 and did a short stint at MSNBC before taking jobs with Voice of America...
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