It is no secret that big changes are coming up at Fox News. The leftist Clinton-supporting Murdoch brothers are now in charge and rumors are that they intend to turn Fox News into yet another mainstream mouthpiece. And the latest rumor is that Fox News’ co-president Bill Shine, a 21 year veteran of the company, has failed to obtain the public support of the Murdoch brothers.
In the following video, Right Wing News looks at what Shine’s departure as of today could mean for the network. Could a new conservative news network rise to fill the gap left by Fox News should the network radically change its direction? Already there is talk that serious discussions are underway among top conservatives for the creation of such a network.
The exodus at Fox News continued on Monday, when less than two weeks after Bill O’Reilly’s termination, co-president Bill Shine was also shown the door as New York Mag’s Gabriel Sherman first reported and was subsequently confirmed in a memo to network employees from Fox News Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch. The move came as Shine was due back on Monday after two days out of the office for a pre-planned long weekend.
“Sadly, Bill Shine resigned today. I know Bill was liked and respected by everybody at Fox News,” writes Murdoch. Suzanne Scott will become president of programming, while Jay Wallace is president of news.
According to Hollywood Reporter, the Murdochs had recently quietly put out external feelers for a new head of Fox News and were known to be looking for a woman, which would send a clear message given the cloud of sexism the network has been under since last summer when Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit opened the floodgates of similar accusations against Ailes as well as network star Bill O’Reilly.
In the press release announcing the executive shuffle, Rupert Murdoch said: “This is a significant day for all at FOX News. Bill has played a huge role in building FOX News to its present position as the nation’s biggest and most important cable channel in the history of the industry. His contribution to our channel and our country will resonate for many years.”
In the following video, an attorney for a former Fox News contributor is calling for an independent investigation of sexual harassment allegations against host Bill O’Reilly.
Lisa Bloom represents Wendy Walsh, a former Fox News contributor who says she lost a segment on “The O’Reilly Factor” after she refused to go to O’Reilly’s bedroom following a 2013 dinner in Los Angeles. She’s seeking an investigation by New York City’s Commission on Human Rights.
“Fox News continues to break both viewing and revenue records, for which I thank you all for. I am sure we can do even better,” Murdoch’s memo concludes.
New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman had first tweeted that Shine, who has been with the network since its inception, was no longer with the network “as of this morning.”
Shine has been accused of covering up incidents of sexual harassment of Ailes, his former boss, who was ousted from the network last summer after Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit against him. Since Ailes’ abrupt departure in summer 2016, he has served as co-president of Fox News Channel alongside Jack Abernethy — but his roots at the company are much deeper, as was his work with Bill O’Reilly.
Shine, who had been with FNC since its 1996 launch, has most famously been the top player in the cable network’s programming division. He first served as senior vice president, ultimately becoming senior executive vice president before his current expanded role. While in programming, Shine was the point person on the familiar, fiery conservative commentary that made its primetime a ratings winner. He was the executive in charge of O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and former staffer Greta Van Susteren.
Shine was also named in former Fox News personality Andrea Tantaros’ lawsuit against network executives, which claimed that Fox News “operated like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult.”
Sean Hannity, a friend and colleague of Shine’s, took to Twitter on April 27 to defend the network co-president, fearing the “end of the FNC as we know it” without Shine.Rupert Murdoch took Shine and Abernethy to lunch in Manhattan on April 24, for what appeared to be a very public show of support. But since then the pressure has only mounted on Shine; most recently, his name came up in a class action racial discrimination suit led by Fox News anchor Kelly Wright.
Shine’s departure is the fourth big exit to rock Fox News since last year including Megyn Kelly’s defection to NBC News where she’ll host a primetime newsmagazine and daytime program.
IS A NEW START-UP CONSERVATIVE NEWS NETWORK
ACTIVELY RECRUITING SEAN HANNITY?
Late last week, we broke the story that there could soon be another game in town for conservative news viewers looking for a competitor to Fox News.
“A well-placed source close to the proposal tells Mediaite that serious discussions are underway to create an alternative conservative cable network on the belief that the Fox News Network is moving too far to the left. The source, who is engaged in the talks, says a meeting is planned for today with two prominent high-powered television executives, some underperforming conservative networks and people who have an interest and the ability to fund a new network.”
Since we first published that story, a senior TV executive involved in those discussions not only confirmed our story, but told us that it could come to fruition within a year:
“I’m working on it (the new conservative channel) hot and heavy. . . It’s live, it’s real.” We are told by two sources involved, that the meeting Friday led to even more confidence that the network will soon become a reality.
Now, with the announcement that Fox news co-President Bill Shine is “resigning” from Fox News, there is a newfound focus on Fox talent and in particular, Sean Hannity, the last remaining original star from the Fox News lineup.
That same TV executive involved in trying to create the new network told us:
“I just don’t see Fox News and Sean having a long relationship. If Sean becomes available, you have 100 percent turnover in primetime and a huge opportunity,”
The departure of Bill Shine could become that opportunity. Mediaite has learned that Hannity has what is called a “key man clause” in his contract. That means that his entire contract can be torn up if a particular person, the key man, leaves the company. In this case, that person is Roger Ailes, who obviously left Fox last year. Mediaite has also learned that while Hannity’s current contract is up in December of 2020, he must only provide 60 days notice if he intends to execute on that “key man” provision. At that point, he would be free to pursue other opportunities.
Thus far, Hannity has not chosen to execute on that clause but that is where Bill Shine comes back in. Shine and Hannity go way back together to the time when Shine was Hannity’s executive producer. And based on Hannity’s recent comments on Twitter both before and after Shine’s resignation, it is clear that Fox has every reason to be concerned:
A new conservative network, new leadership at Fox and an “out” for Hannity could mean that Fox soon has a completely new prime-time line up and a serious competitor to deal with.
Article posted with permission from The Last Great Stand. Article by Michael DePinto.