Fox News co-presidents Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine unveiled a new $30 million studio to employees on Friday to celebrate the cable news network’s 20th anniversary on the air, TheWrap has learned.
“I find tremendous amount of pride in what we do here – I can assure you that Bill and I are going to do our very best to innovate,” Abernethy said during the speech. “An example is this beautiful studio here. $30 million studio which is going to be available on Election Night.”
Fox News Channel celebrates its 20th anniversary today! Here's a sneak peek of our newest studio, which will be unveiled on Election Night. pic.twitter.com/LOvxpQxPEM
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 7, 2016
2016 has been a tough year for the network. Former CEO Roger Ailes, who had been in charge of the network since its launch in 1996, stepped down in wake of a sexual harassment lawsuit from former anchor Gretchen Carlson, followed by another lawsuit from another female anchor, Andrea Tantaros.
Shine subtly recognized the trouble, too: “Today is about looking back at 20 news packed years and then looking ahead to doing even more journalism. We understand for the last few years there has been a lack of communication from the top, Jack and I are set to fix that.”
Insiders tell TheWrap that Shine also read negative reviews from 1996 that mocked the network, but Fox News obviously got the last laugh. Rupert Murdoch sent a letter to Fox News staff to boast, “We have changed the face of television news and the industry at large.”
“Not only has FOX News been the number one rated cable news channel on television for nearly 15 years, but we routinely place atop basic cable, beating out stalwarts such as ESPN, USA, TBS and AMC,” Murdoch continued in the letter. “This is a feat that was unheard of just 20 years ago, yet has become commonplace today, thanks to the hard work, determination and creative thinking of everyone here.”
He said the networks is “continuing to achieve new milestones” and “on track to have our highest rated year ever.”
Murdoch concluded by phrasing the network’s news coverage, “The majority of our success, however, comes from our commitment to delivering the fair and balanced news coverage that our viewers have grown to trust and depend on. It has been tremendously inspiring to watch FOX News flourish these past 20 years, and I am beyond excited for the network to continue its dominance into our next decade.”
Related stories from TheWrap: