No lie: Hope Hicks joins Fox as head of PR

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President Donald Trump waves while standing with Hope Hicks outside the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday, March 29, 2018.
President Donald Trump waves while standing with Hope Hicks outside the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday, March 29, 2018. Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The pipeline between the White House and Rupert Murdoch's media empire continues to flow in both directions, as Fox on Monday announced it has tapped former West Wing communications director Hope Hicks to spearhead the company's corporate communications and PR apparatus.

The 29-year-old Hicks, who had served as the White House communications director from mid-August 2017 until her resignation last February, will serve as exec VP and chief communications office of the new Fox entity that will emerge when 21st Century Fox's merger with the Walt Disney Co. is finalized.

While not a direct swap of assets, the tradeoff between the White House and Fox has a certain air of symmetry about it. In June, Former Fox News co-president Bill Shine assumed Hicks's former post in Washington just two months after allegations that he'd helped cover up a series of sexual harassment incidents forced him to resign. A 22-year Fox News veteran and a loyal soldier to the late Roger Ailes, Shine had been with the organization since its launch.

Other high-profile names who have bounced between Fox and the White House include former Fox News contributor John Bolton, who now serves as the president's national security advisor, and State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, the former co-host of FNC's 2000-era afternoon program "The Big Story." And for the better part of a year, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was the co-host of Fox Business Network's "Wall Street Week," which has since been rebranded "Maria Baritromo's Wall Street."

A longtime confidant of Donald Trump, Hicks was the press secretary on his 2016 campaign. She went on to work on Trump's transition team before officially joining the White House communications team in January 2017. She succeeded Scaramucci as White House communications director shortly after his volatile 10-day stint came to a close in late July 2017.

Hicks resigned from her post on Feb. 28, the day after she reportedly testified to the House Intelligence Committee that she occasionally had told "white lies" on behalf of the president, but never within the context of the ongoing investigation into Russian election tampering.

Once the new Fox is spun off, Hicks will lead the company's communications strategy from Los Angeles. The $71.3 billion Disney-Fox merger is expected to be finalized by early next year. Hicks will report to Viet Dinh, Fox chief legal and policy officer.

Fox today also announced it has tapped General Electric senior government affairs and policy executive Danny O'Brien to serve as exec VP and head of government relations. O'Brien previously served as chief of staff to Senators Joe Biden (D-Del.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.).

The news about Hicks' new gig was signal-boosted by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who tweeted, "Fox won't find anyone smarter or more talented than Hope Hicks. So happy for my friend. They are beyond lucky to have you and the East Coast misses you already."

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