Amid swirling sexual harassment allegations at the network, Fox News co-president Bill Shine has resigned.
The company confirmed Shine’s resignation in a statement by Fox News president Rupert Murdoch. He said that Shine was “liked by everybody” and that employees will “all miss him.”
Sherman’s article said that Murdoch took Shine and co-president Jack Abernethy out to lunch to show support. Before that, Shine reportedly asked Murdochs’ sons James and Lachlan to release a statement showing support for him, but they refused.
Behind the scenes, sources told Sherman that Shine thinks Murdoch and his sons aren’t willing to fight for him in the press. But a Fox News spokesperson told Sherman that Shine denied personally lobbying for the statement from the Murdochs.
The situation appears to have came to a head Monday when Shine was dismissed from his duties less than one year after he stepped into the role.
The news network has been the subject of numerous lawsuits filed against it and recently let go of longtime host Bill O’Reilly after additional sexual harassment accusations surfaced.
Attorney Douglas H. Wigdor, a lawyer in one of the suits against Fox News, issued a statement following Shine’s resignation saying he and his clients are “pleased” to hear the news.
While long overdue, we are pleased that 21st Century Fox has taken a step in the right direction by terminating Bill Shine and that our recent court filings apparently influenced that decision.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sean Hannity Has Defended Shine on TwitterAfter Sherman’s bombshell report, longtime Fox News host Sean Hannity took to Twitter to defend Shine and the crucial role he plays at the network.
Hannity said in an April 27 tweet that he “prays” the recent report isn’t true because if it is, the future of Fox News could be in jeopardy.
Hannity followed-up with another tweet that says he and Shine are aware of an executive who is “trying to get an innocent person fired.”
Hannity and Shine have had close ties throughout the years. It was Hannity who reportedly recommended the network hire Shine early on, and he worked as a producer on Hannity & Colmes when it started.
When he worked as Hannity’s producer, reports say that he had the opportunity to stop instances of sexual harassment, but didn’t do so. Because of that, he’s listed as a defendant in a recent lawsuit filed by Fox News host Andrea Tantaros.
Tantaro’s lawyers said that Fox News should have let Shine go a long time ago, and failing to do so leaves the network at fault.
Shine’s inexplicable elevation sends the message that it will be ‘business as usual’ at Fox News when it comes to the treatment of women.
2. Shine Served as Co-President For Less Than 1 Year
Before being tabbed as Fox News’ co-president in August 2016, Shine played other behind-the-scenes roles at the network.
Shine started at Fox News in 1996 as the producer of Hannity & Colmes, Fox News’ first primetime talk show at the time. Three years after that, he was the Fox News executive producer for primetime. He ventured away from the broadcasting portion of Fox News for a short while when he was the executive producer of an investigative news magazine for Fox News, The Pulse, from 2001 to 2003. During that span, he was also Fox News’ network executive producer, which meant he oversaw all network programming and production.
After that, he received a promotion to be the vice president of production before landing the role of senior vice president of programming in 2005. Shine acted in that role for almost a decade until he received another promotion to be the senior executive vice president of programming in 2014.
3. Before Fox News, Shine Was a Producer for PBS In New York
Shine came to Fox News in 1996 with quite the resume in news television production. He started his career in 1985 as a producer/director at WLIG-TV New York before moving to a PBS affiliate, WLIW-TV, and working as a producer, director and production manager. His work received solid recognition and he received an Emmy nomination for Best Health Documentary (Health Chronicles) in 1994.
Soon after that, he interviewed and was hired by Fox News as it was just beginning in 1996.
In Sherman’s article in New York magazine, he said the reason Shine, who was hired by ousted president Roger Ailes, wasn’t let go by Murdoch after Ailes resigned amidst sexual harassment allegations was because he “provided stability to run the network day-to-day.”
4. Shine Majored In Communications In College
Shine was born in New York and always had an interest in journalism and communications.
After high school, he pursued those passions and went to State University of New York at Oswego. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in communications from the school in 1985 and has returned to the college at different events such as reunions to tell those in attendance the things that he learned while going to school there.
He gave the keynote address during a dinner in October 2013.
In the speech and as written in a winter 2014 Osewego newsletter, Shine attributed his success to a mix of hard work, strong relationships and his Oswego education.
Twenty-eight years after leaving, I can tell you this: This institution — absolutely prepared me for my life and my career. To this day, I say that 1981 to 1985 were the best four years of my life.
5. Shine Has a Twin & Is the Son of a NYC Police Officer
In an August 2016 New York Times article after he was named the co-president, Shine said how he commutes two hours every morning from his home in Long Island to Midtown Manhattan.
He also revealed insight into portions of his private life, that haven’t been reported much.
Shine said his family is Irish-Catholic and has a twin sibling. Growing up, his father was a officer for the New York City Police Department.
Similar to Bill, his wife Darla was also a television producer at several networks including PBS and NewsTalk Television. That’s most likely where the couple met. Darla is the author of a book, too. The book was published in 2009, is titled Happy Housewives and talks about how to stay sane when you’re a stay-at-home mother. Her author profile states that she left the industry to stay at home with her and Bill’s two children.
Darla also records a podcast that’s available to listen to online.