Hope Hicks is hired: Trump staffer lands post-White House gig as Fox’s chief communications officer

The former White House communications director has landed the highest-profile gig yet of any ex-Trump staffer

Published October 8, 2018 12:06PM (EDT)

Hope Hicks (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Hope Hicks (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Hope Hicks has scored the highest-profile job yet of any ex-staffer of President Donald Trump.

The former White House communications director has been named executive vice president and chief communications officer at "New Fox" — the media company that will manifest after 21st Century Fox completes the sale of the majority of its entertainment assets to Disney in 2019. After the $52.4-billion deal is finalized, Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox and News Corp., will hold on to the Fox broadcast channel, Fox News and his cable sports channels.

Working alongside Hicks in the capacity of executive vice president at the new media company will be Danny O'Brien, who has also been named the head of government relations. He comes to "New Fox" after serving as the head of government relations at GE Transportation.

"Hope and Danny are proven leaders and world-class public affairs professionals," Viet Dinh, Fox's chief legal and policy officer, said in a statement. "Together they will define and project Fox's voice to our relevant communities."

Hicks, a loyal Trump staffer who became the press secretary for Trump's campaign at just 26 years old, has achieved a meteoric rise to the top levels of her profession since leaving Trump Tower for the trail in February.

"FOX won't find anyone smarter or more talented than Hope Hicks. So happy for my friend," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders wrote Monday in a tweet. "They are beyond lucky to have you and the East Coast misses you already."

Hicks' new role suggests that the connection between Fox and the Trump administration continues to deepen. Several former Trump staffers have gone to Fox News, while several ex-Fox News talent have gone to work for the president.

In July, Bill Shine, the former Fox News executive who was ousted from the network in May 2017 after being named in multiple lawsuits for his handling of the network's mounting sexual harassment scandals against on-air talent and Fox News executives, joined the White House as its new communications director replacing Hicks.

Fox News primetime host Sean Hannity is also a close friend and adviser to the president. In addition to informal advisers like Hannity, Trump "has also made a point of filling his administration with former Fox News staffers, on-air personalities and executives like Shine," the Daily Beast reported. "Former Fox News anchor Heather Nauert currently serves as the spokesperson for the State Department; longtime Fox News commentator John Bolton serves as Trump's national security adviser; Fox News commentator Mercedes Schlapp, currently the White House's director of strategic communications, was considered a potential frontrunner for the [job of White House communications director]."

The president's recently-separated eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., is also dating former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle.

On the other hand, former Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who abruptly resigned after six months on the job, has been struggling to land a plush post-White House gig. Due to a "lack of credibility," five major cable news networks have chosen not to offer the former West Wing aide a job as a paid contributor. Those networks include: ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News.

By Joseph Neese

Joseph Neese is Salon's Deputy Editor in Chief. You can follow him on Twitter: @josephneese.

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By Shira Tarlo

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Donald Trump Fox News Hope Hicks Rupert Murdoch