Former Fox News co-president Bill Shine has spoken to White House officials about joining President Trump’s communications team, according to The New York Times.
Shine was a Roger Ailes protégé who is credited with much of Fox News’ success. He stepped down in May after being named in several lawsuits regarding sexual harassment at the network. Shine was never accused of harassment himself and denies all wrongdoing.
Shine was at the White House last week with for dinner with Trump, Fox News stars Sean Hannity and Kimberly Guilfoyle and now-former communications director Anthony Scaramucci. The White House needs a new communications director because Scaramucci was let go after only 10 days. When news of the dinner leaked to the media, Scaramucci called a reporter and lashed out in an on-the-record conversation filled with profanity.
The times reported that “two senior administration officials who requested anonymity to describe private conversations” confirmed Shine discussed joining Trump’s team. A third source told the Times that the White House is considering a behind-the-scenes role for Shine that takes advantage of his skills producing and staging televised events.
Shine was regarded as a key member of the old regime at Fox News and was promoted to co-president, alongside Jack Abernethy, last year when Ailes stepped down as CEO because of multiple sexual harassment allegations.
From a business standpoint, Shine is remembered as one of the most successful cable news executives of all time. Fox News continued to rule the ratings landscape when Shine and Abernethy took over the network, not missing a beat despite the absence of Ailes.
Shine is also largely responsible for the success of Fox News’ sister, Fox Business Network, which has seen a significant boost since he switched up the network’s programming back in 2014. Shine was running FBN when Scaramucci hosted “Wall Street Week” on the network.
“Shine’s association with Mr. Scaramucci may hinder his chances with some factions in the West Wing,” the Times said.
Hannity told the Times that the situation didn’t come up during last week’s dinner: “Bill Shine is talented enough that he doesn’t need my help in getting a job in the White House or any other position.”
Earlier this year, Hannity defended Shine on Twitter, saying it would be “the total end of the FNC as we know it” if he left the network. Despite Shine stepping down since Hannity’s tweet, Fox News remains the most-watched network among cable news.