Bill Shine out at Fox News, Suzanne Scott becomes president of programming
Fox News co-president Bill Shine is out at Fox News. The move comes as Shine was due back on Monday after two days out of the office for a pre-planned long weekend.
Rupert Murdoch, 21st Century Fox and Fox News executive chairman, made the announcement on Monday via a brief email to Fox News staffers.
"Sadly, Bill Shine resigned today," wrote Murdoch. "I know Bill was respected and liked by everybody at Fox News. We will all miss him."Shine has been accused of covering up incidents of sexual harassment of Roger Ailes, his former boss, who was ousted from the network last summer after Gretchen Carlson's lawsuit against him.
Suzanne Scott becomes president of programming and Jay Wallace has been promoted to president of news.
Since Ailes' abrupt departure in summer 2016, Shine 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."
See photos of ex-Fox News co-president Bill Shine
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 suite led by Fox News anchor Kelly Wright. And sources told THR last week that the Murdochs have quietly begun to put out feelers for a new head of Fox News; preferably a woman.
Still, Shine has his defenders at the channel, who describe him as a gregarious executive who rose through the ranks. The distinction between the programming and news divisions was always said to be an important one at Ailes' Fox News Channel. By lumping its right-leaning talking heads into Shine's programming division, news programs could define themselves by the network's "fair and balanced" motto.
Wallace was promoted to executive vp, news and editorial in early 2016, and successfully guided the network's election coverage, which included Chris Wallace (no relation) being tapped to moderate the final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Shine's move into a more overarching role at the company, one that saw him reporting directly to Rupert Murdoch, put him in charge of production and talent management. The latter area of his purview has been the biggest complication for Shine, as O'Reilly's contract re-negotiation earlier this year was done with knowledge of the recent sexual harassment claims that eventually got O'Reilly kicked off the network. Shine has denied all of the allegations against him and he was known to have been a vocal advocate of keeping O'Reilly.
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.