His move as part of prime minister Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle follows Karen Bradley’s departure to Northern Ireland.
Hancock, who has been the Conservative member for West Suffolk since 2010, was previously Minister of State for Digital and Culture.
At the top of the new culture secretary’s inbox is the proposed merger of 21st Century Fox and Sky, which his predecessor referred to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on the grounds of the genuine commitment to broadcasting standards and media plurality.
The CMA is expected to make public its findings in early March.
The new secretary of state will also have to deal with the BBC gender pay-row that has led to the resignation of its China Editor, Carrie Gracie.