2ND UPDATE, 8:11 PM: Sean Hannity hinted this afternoon that he might address his Fox News future on tonight’s edition of Hannity. He did not. The host opened his 10 PM Fox News Channel show with a message for the “alt-left propaganda media,” saying, “I may have a thing or two to say — just for you.” He did not. Instead, Hannity ended his half-hour show with a “special thank you” to the same journalists he noted might be watching his show for the first time, adding, “And all the lies you heard about me are not true.”
UPDATED, 3:59 PM: With the status of Sean Hannity’s future at Fox News Channel cloudy, the host today declared that he might address the matter on his show tonight. As the only remaining member of FNC’s primetime lineup from a year ago, Hannity’s loyalty to now-pink-slipped Co-President Bill Shine could be the blade that cuts his ties to the Murdoch-run outlet.
PREVIOUSLY, 2:34 PM: Sean Hannity isn’t following Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and now Bill Shine out the door at Fox News Channel yet, but he is “contemplating” it, Deadline has learned.
“Sean feels very betrayed by what happened to Bill, he really didn’t think it would go down like this,” a source close to the situation says of the last remaining member of Fox News’ May 2016 primetime lineup.
“He takes this personally because of his long relationship with Bill and the marker he put down last week,” the insider added of today’s news, in which Shine, Fox News’ co-president since last summer, said he was exiting. “He’s not revealing much, but it is clear Sean is contemplating that it may be time for him to leave.”
The sentiment is strikingly similar to that of recently ousted O’Reilly, who acknowledged on his podcast after he was jettisoned, “I was very surprised how it all turned out.” It speaks to the failure to understand the importance of Rupert Murdoch’s pending $14 billion takeover of European pay-TV provider Sky. Some industry pundits think O’Reilly, and now Shine, became the flotsam and jetsam of that acquisition. British media regulators are scheduled to decide this month whether the Murdochs are “fit and proper” to own such a large media property, as Fox News unauthorized chronicler-in-chief Gabe Sherman put it, suggesting back when O’Reilly got the hook that his ouster “could appease critics and help close the Sky deal.”
Shine resigned as Fox News co-president this morning via a curt memo from Murdoch. Before progressing up the Fox News ranks to being named co-president in the wake of Ailes’ exit, Shine was the producer of Hannity.
Last week, Hannity took to social media proclaiming that someone high up at FNC was out to get the increasingly besieged but “innocent” Shine. The 10 PM slot host said on Twitter on April 28 it would be the “total end of the FNC as we know it” if his Shine was fired.