Fox News has not had the best of luck lately.
Tensions are high as Sean Hannity spoke up in defense of executive Bill Shine.
Shine was a “behind-the-scenes fixer” who became the network’s co-president after former chairman, Roger Ailes, was ousted last summer.
“Somebody HIGH UP AND INSIDE F.N.C. is trying to get an innocent person fired,” Mr. Hannity wrote, referring to a report in New York magazine that Mr. Shine’s support from the Murdoch family, which controls Fox News Channel, was wavering.
Somebody HIGH UP AND INSIDE FNC is trying to get an innocent person fired. And Gabe I KNOW WHO it is. Best Sean https://t.co/W3BJ2wjzRD
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) April 27, 2017
If Mr. Shine were removed, Mr. Hannity wrote to his 2.3 million followers, “That’s the total end of the F.N.C. as we know it. Done.”
It is unusual for a television anchor to weigh in publicly on sensitive internal matters at a network. But Mr. Shine’s job security has been a matter of intense speculation inside Fox News’s Manhattan newsroom, which is still reeling from the forced exit of Bill O’Reilly in the wake of revelations that Mr. O’Reilly and Fox News had paid millions to settle accusations of harassment.
Mr. Shine was a loyal lieutenant to Mr. Ailes, and his continued role in newsroom leadership has been cited by women’s groups and some newsroom employees as a sign that Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, is not serious about reforming the workplace culture embodied by Mr. Ailes and Mr. O’Reilly.
Mr. Shine has been cited in at least four lawsuits against the network brought by current or former employees. Among the accusations are claims that Mr. Shine ignored or dismissed concerns about harassment, enabled or concealed Mr. Ailes’s harassment and, in one instance, made racially charged remarks.
Mr. Shine has denied all wrongdoing.
A 21st Century Fox spokesman declined comment but Rupert Murdoch, who is an executive chairman, went out to lunch with Shrine and other co-president Jack Abernethy. Many are taking this as a sign of support.
Shine has not been publicly accused of the aggressive harassment or coercion that Ailes and O’Reilly have faced.
Many former employees who worked with Shine said they never knew him to treat women poorly.