Fox News co-president Bill Shine recently asked Rupert Murdoch’s sons to release a statement in support of him after the network’s star Bill O’Reilly was fired over sexual harassment allegations, but they declined, according to New York Magazine’s Gabe Sherman.
Sherman, who has been out in front of all scandal-related Fox News drama for years, reported that Shine has privately complained that the senior Murdoch “isn’t fighting for him” in the press. Rupert’s sons, James and Lachlan, opted not to issue a public statement defending Shine, according to Sherman who cited anonymous sources.
Shine denied asking for a statement, through a spokesperson, according to Sherman. Fox News did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for additional comment.
“By refusing to back Shine at this tumultuous moment for the network, the Murdochs may finally be signaling that they’re prepared to make the sweeping management changes they’ve so far resisted after forcing out CEO Roger Ailes last summer,” Sherman wrote.
Ailes stepped down in disgrace last year after Gretchen Carlson accused him of sexual harassment and numerous women came forward with similar claims. O’Reilly was fired last week after 16 years of dominating the cable news industry because of similar allegations.
Sherman continued: “Shine’s continued leadership has angered many Fox News employees, especially women, who view him as a product of the misogynistic Ailes culture… Sources say there are multiple reasons Rupert Murdoch hasn’t replaced Shine.”
Shine, an Ailes protégé, is currently a defendant in a federal lawsuit filed by former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros. Since he was named co-president of the network, viewers haven’t turned away despite the on-going harassment claims. Fox News continues to be the most-watched cable news network and is typically among the leaders in all of cable, not just news.
Sherman notes the network’s success during the troubles times, Murdoch not wanting to cave to public pressure and the lack of a logical successor as reasons why Shine is still atop Fox News.
There’s also the question that Shine may simply know too much about Fox News’ inner workings at a time when federal prosecutors are investigating the network,” Sherman added.