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Former White House communications director Hope Hicks heads to Fox

Another in a long line of people who have moved between Fox and the White House.
Hope Hicks in the lobby at Trump Tower in New York City on Dec. 12, 2016.
Hope Hicks in the lobby at Trump Tower in New York City on Dec. 12, 2016.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Hope Hicks, the former White House communications director, will be joining Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox as chief communications officer, the company announced Monday.

Hicks becomes the latest in a long line of people who have moved between Fox and the White House. In June, former Fox News president Bill Shine took Hicks' former role with the Trump administration after her resignation in February.

Fox is in the midst of a major pivot, having sold off most of its entertainment assets to Disney in July for $71.3 billion. The company is now refocusing on its Fox broadcast network, Fox News and other news- and sports-heavy cable channels — which has come to be known in media circles as "New Fox."

Fox also announced on Monday that Danny O'Brien has been hired to serve as head of government relations. O'Brien had most recently worked as government relations leader for General Electric's transportation operation.

Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, tweeted a message of congratulations to Hicks.

"FOX won’t find anyone smarter or more talented than Hope Hicks," Sanders wrote.

Hicks adds to the already close relationship between the Trump administration and Murdoch's media assets. President Donald Trump and Murdoch are known to be friendly, with The New York Times reporting in December that the two talked on the phone weekly.

Hicks served as press secretary on Trump's 2016 campaign, having previously worked for the Trump Organization and Ivanka Trump's fashion label.

Fox noted in its press release that Hicks will not start until the close of the Disney deal, at which time 21st Century Fox will also change its name to Fox. Fox said Hicks will be based in Los Angeles.

Though she left the White House in February, Hicks was spotted on Air Force One in August.

While it has become common in recent years for former White House staff to join media organizations, the addition of Hicks to Fox further ties the company's cable news operation to Trump. Trump's staff now includes national security adviser John Bolton, who had been a Fox News contributor; State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, a former Fox News anchor; and White House communications adviser Mercedes Schlapp, who had also been a Fox News contributor, among others.

Trump has made no secret of his affinity for Fox News, which features an evening roster of hosts that ardently back the president. In September, Trump sent eight tweets praising or pointing to Fox News coverage, with his most recent urging people to tune into the channel to watch a rally in West Virginia.