Fox News co-president Bill Shine may be the next big network figure to get the ax, New York's Gabriel Sherman reports. While the network deals with the fallout from dismissing its top host, Bill O'Reilly, and a raft of lawsuits alleging sexual harassment and racial intolerance, Shine is reportedly feeling the squeeze. Citing three sources familiar with the conversation, Sherman reported Thursday that Shine "recently asked Rupert [Murdoch]'s sons James and Lachlan — the CEO and co-chairman, respectively of network parent company 21st Century Fox — to release a statement in support of him, but they refused to do so."
Shine wanted the backing of the Murdochs to solidify his position at the helm of the company at a time of "withering press coverage," Sherman writes. He adds: "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." Ailes left the network amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment, all of which he has vehemently denied. (O'Reilly has also denied all accusations against him, calling them "completely unfounded.")
Through a network spokesperson, Shine denied to New York that he had personally approached the Murdoch brothers for a statement. A spokesperson for the Murdochs also told New York that Shine never directly made such a request.
The trouble with dismissing a top network executive is two-fold: Shine has been a beacon of stability for a network mired in controversy over the last year, and he also "may simply know too much about Fox News' inner workings," Sherman says. Read his full report at New York. Kimberly Alters
Editor's note: This post originally misstated Shine's title at Fox News. It has since been corrected. We regret the error. The post has also been updated to include statements made to New York on behalf of Shine and the Murdochs.