NEW YORK — News Corp. has tapped Jack Abernethy, an exec veep who helped launch Fox News Channel, to run Fox Television Stations, the conglom’s most profitable division.
“Jack Abernethy brings a stellar track record to his new role as CEO of Fox Television Stations, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to build these great businesses,” said Lachlan Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer of News Corp.
The previous CEO of the station group, Mitchell Stern, left to run DirecTV after News Corp. took control of the satcaster late last year. Murdoch, chairman of the station group, had been acting as CEO since then.
Fox’s 35 local broadcast television stations increased profits by 65% and revenue by 15% over the past two years. The station group booked revenue of $2.2 billion and operating income of $977 million in the fiscal year that ended in July.
Abernethy joined Fox in 1996 and helped develop the business plan for Fox News Channel and launched Fox News Radio in 2003.
Prior to Fox, Abernethy worked at GE for 15 years, holding a variety of finance positions at the NBC TV stations division before becoming VP of finance and operations at CNBC.