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Fox News Media Hires Google Executive as Legal Boss (Corrects)

April 12, 2021, 4:44 PM; Updated: April 12, 2021, 5:54 PM

Fox News Media has named a former Google Cloud executive and head of legal for Oprah Winfrey’s media company, Bernard T. Gugar, as its new top in-house attorney.

Gugar joined New York-based Fox News Media, owned by Fox Corporation, on Monday as general counsel and executive vice president of corporate development, according to an announcement from Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott.

He succeeds Lily Fu Claffee, who is leaving Fox News Media “on amicable terms” after three years, according to an email from Fox News’ group vice president for media relations and corporate communications Caley Cronin.

“I am excited to join one of the most influential news operations in the world and look forward to utilizing my experience spanning media, law and technology to help Fox News Media grow, evolve and develop a diversified digital footprint,” Gugar said in the April 12 statement.

Gugar’s addition to Fox News Media, which operates brands like Fox News Channel and Fox Weather, comes weeks after parent company Fox Corp. promoted former chief litigation counsel Jeff A. Taylor to the newly created position of general counsel after a brief dip in ratings for the longtime cable news leader.

Viet Dinh remains Fox Corporation’s chief legal officer, a top position that he’s held since 2018.

“We are pleased to welcome Bernard to the Fox News Media team. His extensive expertise and highly accomplished background will add immeasurable value to our thriving multiplatform brand,” Scott said in the Monday statement.

Gugar was previously Google’s U.S. Head of Industries for Google Cloud’s Deal Pursuit Organization, according to the statement. He has also worked with the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation as a venture startup advisor and was the senior vice president and general counsel of Oprah Winfrey’s media company Harpo, Inc., for eight years.

Before that, Gugar worked for Mark Burnett Productions, East Wind Advisors, and Bear Stearns. He’s a former corporate associate with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

His predecessor, Claffee, was the chief legal officer and general counsel of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce before joining Fox News Media in 2018.

(Corrects timing of Claffee's future departure in paragraph three. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Ruiqi Chen in Washington, D.C. at rchen@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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