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Fox News Media names new general counsel, executive VP of corporate development

Fox News Media names new general counsel, executive VP of corporate development
© Fox News Media

Fox News Media has hired Bernard Gugar as general counsel and executive vice president of corporate development, the company announced on Monday.

Gugar starts immediately and will report to CEO Suzanne Scott. He is taking over for Lily Fu Claffee, who is stepping down on “amicable terms,” according to a Fox News spokesperson. Claffee had worked at Fox since May 2018.

Fox noted that Gugar served as the U.S. head of industries for Google Cloud’s deal pursuit organization and worked for Harpo Inc., the media company owned by Oprah WinfreyOprah Gail Winfrey Kid reporter who interviewed Obama dies at 23 Prince Harry compares royal life to 'being in a zoo' Prince Harry, Oprah Winfrey to debut special on mental health on Apple TV MORE, as a senior vice president and general counsel.

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Gugar was also the director of corporate development and business affairs for Mark Burnett Productions working on licensing deals for the TV show “The Apprentice,” according to his LinkedIn profile.

The hire comes as Fox News deals with two significant defamation lawsuits, one filed by Dominion Voting Systems in March and another filed in early February by voting technology company Smartmatic.

Dominion alleges that Fox News hosts and guests helped promote a “manufactured storyline about election fraud” that portrayed Dominion as a “villain.” In its suit, Smartmatic said Fox and other defendants “engaged in a conspiracy to spread disinformation about Smartmatic.”

Fox has called the suits meritless and has said it is “proud" of the network's 2020 election coverage. It has also filed motions to dismiss the Smartmatic case.

Updated on April 13 at 11:35 a.m.