Fox News co-president Bill Shine is out at the network, two sources told New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman on Monday.
21st Century Fox executive chair Rupert Murdoch told employees that Shine had resigned, according to CNN.
“Sadly, Bill Shine resigned today,” Murdoch said in a statement to employees. “I know Bill was respected and liked by everybody at Fox News. We will all miss him.”
In the aftermath of former host Bill O’Reilly’s ouster in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal, pressure had mounted on Shine and the network’s other co-president, Jack Abernethy. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that media mogul Rupert Murdoch and sons James and Lachlan were considering replacing Shine with a woman to help revamp Fox News’ image.
Shine spearheaded the network’s programming sector, while Abernethy is in charge of the business side of the company. Shine was a staunch defender of O’Reilly when the anchor was still at the network. Shine reportedly sided with O’Reilly when former host Megyn Kelly said he had criticised her for speaking out about her personal experience being sexually harassed by former network CEO Roger Ailes.
Ailes was dismissed from the network last summer following multiple allegations of sexual harassment. Shine has been named as a defendant in a number of lawsuits against the network, along with O’Reilly and Ailes, including one sexual harassment account detailed by former Fox News booker Laurie Luhn, who alleged that Ailes harassed and “psychologically tortured” her for 20 years.
Following the internal turmoil that has plagued the network over the last year, the Murdochs reportedly feel that hiring a female in charge of Fox News would lend credibility to their commitments to promote “a workplace based on the values of respect and trust,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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